The Minneapolis, Minnesota city council is reportedly expected to approve new rules that would require door-to-door salespeople to don a city-issued photo ID card, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
According to the news source, the rules are designed to make it easier for homeowners to distinguish between legitimate salespeople and swindlers. The ultimate goal is to make it easier for residents to identify the "fly-by-night" operators, said Grant Wilson, head of business licensing for the city.
"They can be in our town, hit a neighborhood and be gone before we even get a complaint," Wilson told the Star Tribune. "So this way an exposed identification badge will be a good thing."
At the same time, however, the new rules would ease regulations on people who go door to door for religious or political reasons, as these individuals are protected under the constitution, the news source said. Non-commercial solicitors will not be required to obtain an ID or register with the city.
Nonprofit organizations like the Girl Scouts and schools will be allowed to obtain ID cards in bulk quantities if children are going door to door, the Star Tribune noted.
Similar rules were recently implemented in Dover, Delaware, where nearly all door-to-door salespeople are now required to register with the Department of Finance and wear photo identification. According to DelmarvaNow, the law is being referred to as the toughest of its kind in the country, and is designed to protect elderly citizens.
"This is an area that we hear from the public on a regular basis about," Kevin Carroll, director of the Consumer Protection Unit of the state Attorney General's Office, told the news source. "It's not uncommon to see it in the home improvement fraud context."