WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Panhandlers in Winston-Salem could soon be required to wear a photo identification badge at all times under a proposal by the City Attorney’s Office.
All panhandlers are required by current city ordinance to apply and obtain a free panhandling license.
The City Attorney’s Office now recommends adding a photo ID provision into the licensing process and requiring the tag to be worn at all times while panhandling.
The ID tag would also include the license’s expiration date.
Having ready identification would help the city enforce current panhandling laws according to The City Attorney’s Office, which also cites a need based on the high volume of applicants.
Winston-Salem says more than 350 people have submitted panhandling applications since 2011 following license requirements that also include passing a criminal background check.
The city’s Public Safety Committee discussed the proposal for a second time this week but it ultimately needs approval from City Council.
City Attorney Angela Carmon says her office is working on final edits to the draft ordinance before it goes before committee for recommendation next month.