BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
IDNYC has arrived, bearing gifts.
New Yorkers with IDNYC, the City’s municipal identification card, will get access to the City’s libraries, as well as a number of cultural and recreational institutions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the Flushing Library on Monday during the card’s launch.
Residents can apply for IDNYC in Queens at the Flushing Library or Jamaica Library, as well as at Make the Road New York’s Jackson Heights office, located at 92-10 Roosevelt Ave. As of Wednesday, centers are taking appointments for enrollment, which can be made at www.nyc.gov/IDNYC or through 311.
Enrollment is free for anyone who applies in 2015. Officials from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs said the future cost has not yet been determined.
Once individuals sign up for and receive their IDs, they have the option to activate them as library cards at the Queens, Brooklyn or New York Public Library systems. This represents the first time a single card will be accepted by all three City library systems, according to the Mayor’s office.
“Now, ‘card-carrying New Yorkers’ have the City’s best, right in their pockets: IDNYC and a library card, all in one,” Queens Library interim president and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey said in a statement.
For the first year, IDNYC also comes with benefits at more than 30 cultural institutions throughout the City, including Flushing Town Hall, MoMA PS1, the Queens Botanical Garden and the Queens Museum.
Among other perks included with the card are discounts on movie tickets and Broadway shows, 20 percent off family memberships at certain YMCA centers and five percent off Food Bazaar purchases made Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
IDNYC is available to all City residents 14-years-old and up, does not require proof of citizenship or a permanent address to obtain and can include a self-determined gender.
Therefore, de Blasio said, the card will serve a wider and more diverse swath of the population, including many undocumented or homeless individuals who did not have access to identification beforehand.
“This notion of inclusion, I really want to emphasize, this is what makes New York City great,” de Blasio said. “This ID epitomizes keeping this an open City, making this a City for all, well into the future.”
At Monday’s announcement, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal addressed concerns regarding the security of this new form of identification.
“The card itself actually has many embedded features that would prevent it from being easily duplicated,” she said, adding that these features were developed with input from the NYPD.
Agarwal also said “very strict procedures” such as a judicial warrant or subpoena will be used to vet requests for private information – for example from law enforcement – from the IDNYC database.
For a full list of IDNYC benefits and enrollment information, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/idnyc.
Reach Reporter Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.