Bill seeks acceptance of tribal IDs in commerce


PIERRE – Tribal identification can be used to board an airplane or cross the border into Canada. However, there are some South Dakota merchants who won’t accept them in their stores as proof of identification. 

SB146 sets out to change that. It was approved unanimously Tuesday by the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee. 

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said the bill is restricted to using the tribal ID for commerce. 

Doug Abraham, representing the South Dakota Retailers Association, said his group supports the bill. 

“It provides the needed clarity for retailers to rely on Tribal IDs,” Abraham said. 

Mark Winegar of the Sierra Club had a name for what happens when retailers won’t accept a tribal ID. 

“Where I come from, we call it discrimination, and it needs to stop,” Winegar said. 

The bill was approved on a 5-0 vote and now goes to the full Senate.

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