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New York City Formally Starts Its Municipal ID Card Program: with link to schedule an appoiment

For generations, the label has been at once exclusive and widely misapplied, available to millions in earnest, but vulnerable to line-blurring by suburban peers who claimed New York City residency without an address to match.

Could a New Yorker be identified by a harried gait? A brash retort? The knowledge that L trains are to be avoided on weekends?

Perhaps. But beginning this week, the evidence will, for the first time, be wallet-size.

here are the link to make an appointment for an IDNYC



On Monday, New York is expected to introduce the country’s largest municipal-identification program, issuing cards intended as a boon for undocumented immigrants, the homeless and others who strain to navigate the bureaucracy of city services and institutions without government-issued ID. The card will confer discounts for prescription drugs, access to city buildings and free memberships to zoos and museums. It will be accepted as a library card across the city’s three public library systems and recognized as identification to open an account at several banks and credit unions.

“For New Yorkers who couldn’t have an official ID., this card is the key to a fuller life,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement, adding that it was “fraud-proof, secure and appealing to anyone.”

The card’s layout seems befitting of its most high-profile booster, a longtime Park Slope, Brooklyn, resident who has sought to govern with an eye toward the boroughs outside Manhattan.

The map on the front of the card might startle New Yorkers with its accuracy: Unlike the subway map, with its oversize Manhattan, this version is to scale, with Brooklyn and Queens sprawled across the center. The spot for the main head shot obscures much of Staten Island and the Financial District. On the back, one landmark is shown: the Brooklyn Bridge.

Officials have cast the program as among the mayor’s most significant initiatives, based partly on those in cities like New Haven and San Francisco.

The City Council approved the program’s creation in June, part of a series of immigration-related initiatives undertaken by the new Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito. Ms. Mark-Viverito also led a push for the city to stop honoring detention requests issued by immigration authorities without a warrant from a federal judge.

The card, she suggested in a phone interview, doubled as “a way of validating people who live in New York City and are contributing positively.”

“It’s an affirmation,” she added.

For undocumented immigrants in particular, many realities of city life — renting an apartment, filling a prescription, encountering a police officer who asks for identification — have long produced headaches.

“You have to be in the shadows,” Juan Carlos Gomez, an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, said in July, at an event where Mr. de Blasio signed the Council bill into law.

The cards, known as IDNYC cards, will be available to all New Yorkers age 14 and older, who can apply at enrollment centers across the city. Enrollment will be free in 2015, though fees may be charged in the future. Applicants are required to prove identity and city residency, with documents that could include passports, driver’s licenses or birth certificates, from the United States or elsewhere, among other options.

The city said that applicant information will not be shared with other government agencies or third parties, “except for purposes of verifying the applicant’s eligibility for additional city benefits, services and care,” or in response to a judicial subpoena or warrant. Cardholders will also be told if their information has been sought.

Among the top challenges for the program will be reaching homeless New Yorkers without fixed residences. Though cards will typically be mailed to applicants, the administration said that if mailing a card is not possible or unsafe — in the case of a domestic violence victim, for instance — it can be picked up in person.

The administration declined to estimate how many people might sign up for the card. Nisha Agarwal, commissioner of the mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, said that in other cities with similar programs, about 1 percent of the population has enrolled.

“We expect to do a lot better than that in New York City,” she said, citing the discounts on admission to venues like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Bronx Zoo that come with the card.

One potential applicant, Nick During, 31, from Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, wondered if the offers might tilt the tourist-to-local ratio at some venues.

Anita Dunbar, 64, from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, suggested the card’s appeal was far simpler.

“I’m a sucker for new stuff,” she said.

Read More at the New York Times

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