A municipal I.D. for all New Yorkers

IDNYC, the City’s municipal ID, is delivered by mail (two to three weeks after you apply) with a brochure that describes some of the benefits.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

You’ve got another year to get your free municipal I.D.

The City is extending its sign-up schedule for its City municipal I.D. program–IDNYC– into 2016, a second year.

The I.D. provides official identification for those who previously do not have government issued identification and enables the holder to get into government and other buildings including public schools that require an I.D. Instituted in 2015, the program is an initiative of the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor deBlasio said at the original launch, “This I.D. addresses substantially the notion that we all matter and everyone has an identity.” The I.D. is open to all New Yorkers including undocumented, elderly, homeless, vets, and transgender.

Enrollment centers have been set up in some libraries and many other sites around the city.

While proof of New York residency is a requirement, immigration status is not information that is asked. Knowing someone has a municipal I.D. would not indicate they are undocumented immigrants, since the I.D. is available to all New Yorkers.

“If you’re calling about a municipal I.D., call 311” is the first thing a caller hears on the voicemail of immigrant advocacy group Make The Road New York, proof that getting the IDNYC is encouraged. Twenty percent of applicable residents in Corona Park, a richly immigrant neighborhood, have IDNYC. One out of 10 Queens’s residents have IDNYC.

Rosemary Boeglin from the Mayor’s Office said, “We know that immigrant New Yorkers have been some of the first and most eager applicants across the five boroughs.”

As of Fall 2015, 52 percent of the 311 inquiries in regards to IDNCY were in non-English: Spanish accounts for 88 percent of the non-English, with Mandarin next (4.6 percent of non-English) followed by Cantonese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole, Hindi, and other languages.

More than 700,000 New Yorkers across the city have thus far received one. There are many other benefits beyond just identification that are attached to the card, which adds to its popularity.

The perk that attracts a large swath of New Yorkers is a free membership package at the City’s leading cultural institutions, an added seven more than last year.

The American Museum of Natural History, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Flushing Town Hall, the Staten Island Zoo, and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are among the 40 cultural institutions offering free memberships. Metropolitan Opera, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art are also on the list.

Joining at each individual institution, cultural memberships redeemed through IDNYC will be good for one year from the date the membership benefit is redeemed. Institutions have different protocols for enrolling members — check with the participating institution.

The IDNYC Card also enables one to open a bank or credit account at more than a dozen financial institutions across New York City. The card can be integrated with your library account at the New York, Brooklyn and Queens Public Library Systems. Additionally, the cardholder can receive special entertainment eg. movie or Broadway show on-line offers. Also there are discounts with Citi Bike and the NYC Parks Dept. recreation centers. www.nyc.gov/idnyc/benefits.

Good for five years, IDNYC is a permanent program, written into City Law.

On his visit to New York, on September 15, 2015, the Pope, Pope Francis Bergoglio was issued an honorary IDNYC.

For an appointment to sign up: https://idnyc.appointment-plus.com/.

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