Hey, New Yorkers. Today is the day that residents of this beautiful city can begin applying for municipal IDs. This ID program, the biggest one in the country, was introduced by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier in 2014, and is now available to all New York City residents as of today. Go apply! What are you waiting for?
De Blasio's program is intended to benefit residents of New York City who do not have government-issued ID already, though not exclusively. NYC's homeless, immigrants, and other undocumented populations will now have a means to access city services like libraries, public buildings, and museums. The ID will also serve as identification needed to open accounts at certain banks.
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.
One fear that has been voiced by the New York Civil Liberties Union is that the identification will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to obtain documents, though the city has stated that the only reason data could be released would be "purposes of verifying the applicant's eligibility for additional city benefits, services and care," the NYT reports.
As an incentive to go along with the ID, New Yorkers will be given one-year memberships to a host of cultural institutions in the city, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Met, MoMA PS1, and thirty others. Questions about the ID can answered by calling 311 or visiting New York's IDNYC site here.
[Image via AP]