By Farah Louis
Last week, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito alongside her colleagues and bill sponsors, Council Member Daniel Dromm and Council Member Carlos Menchaca, held a press conference at the Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn Public Library where they launched the IDNYC municipal identification program and signed up for their ID cards.
IDNYC is an opportunity for New York City residents to get access to city services, regardless of immigration status. The IDNYC card is a fundamental step to providing New Yorkers with a sense of equality and opportunity.
The IDNYC card will also serve as a library card and is accepted as valid identification for opening a bank or credit union account, and includes a full collection of benefits at local cultural institutions and fitness clubs.
“IDNYC is not only a card for all New Yorkers, it is the gateway to City services, the key to opening a bank account or getting a library card, and the ticket to many of our city’s finest cultural institutions. More than that, this card represents who we are: New Yorkers who value equality, opportunity and diversity,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and our partners in the Council for their tremendous work and collaboration on this program. Today, we are launching the most ambitious, dynamic and useful municipal ID program in the country, which will have a real and tangible impact on the lives of all New Yorkers.”
Since its launch last week, the municipal ID card has been met with an overwhelming demand, with 5,000 people already enrolled, and another 58,000 awaiting appointments to apply for the card, according to the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. Applicants were originally allowed to walk in one of the 17 enrollment centers in the five boroughs, however, after the long lines and increased demand, the city switched to an appointment-only based system last Wednesday.
“We always predicted there was going to be a large demand,” Mark-Viverito said. “What we’re seeing is incredible demand.” To meet the demand, the city is opening two more enrollment centers in the next two weeks at LaGuardia Community College and the Family Center in Sunset Park.
The application and services are available in 25 languages, of which Creole and French are available language options. New Yorkers can apply for the IDNYC Card online at www.nyc.gov/IDNYC or by calling 311 to make an appointment.