top of page

III. Enhanced Tribal Identification Card

Enhanced Tribal Identification Cards (ETCs) are similar in form to a U.S. passport card.  RFID technology in these cards allows data sharing between Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and tribal nations to verify the enrollment and U.S. citizenship status of the card holder. WHTI also requires updating of the information available through ETCs as deemed necessary by Homeland Security. In 2010, the Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program was amended to include some funding support for the development of ETCs.  The Pascua Yaqui Tribe was the first tribal nation to develop and issue an ETC in 2010.  The Kootenai Tribe of Idaho began issuing its ETC in 2011.  At least seventeen additional tribes are now in the process of developing their own ETCs.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between a federally-recognized U.S. tribal nation and the CBP is needed to begin the process of a tribal nation’s ETC development. Once negotiations between a tribal nation and CBP are complete and a MOA is signed, information technology (IT) working groups begin development of the ETC. Once the IT working group approves production, a memo is sent to CBP field officers describing the ETC’s security features, artwork for the ETC is finalized, and CBP issues a press release on the new ETC.

See List of Useful Contacts and Online Resources in this manual for additional information on how to apply for a Tribal Homeland Security Grant to develop an ETC and resources for ETC development. Grant monies for ETC production are annual and tribal nations may reapply.  The Pascua Yaqui Tribe currently offers ETC development services to other tribes.

bottom of page