Durham's city council voted 5-2 to tell city employees to treat the Matricula Consular de Alta Seguridad (MCAS) Consular Identification Card the same as other official identification.
It's an identification card issued by the Government of Mexico through its consulate offices to Mexican citizens residing outside of Mexico regardless of their emigration status. The card is accepted as ID by many police departments nationwide, and many banks accept it for financial transactions.
Police Chief Jose Lopez says officers have been accepting the Mexican IDs for the three years he's held his job. He said the city council's move would build support among the city's Hispanic residents, who have grown more willing to cooperate with police.
U.S. cities began accepting the ID card issued to Mexicans living abroad a decade ago. The policy has spread to nearly 400 U.S. cities and almost 1,200 police departments.
Durham is the first to accept it for civic business in North Carolina.