More IDNYC Offices Open To Help New Yorkers Apply For Pandemic Relief Programs

The city is reopening more IDNYC offices to help New Yorkers obtain one of the municipal ID cards to use as a valid form of identification for various relief programs, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

“Making IDNYC available to New Yorkers is more crucial now than ever before,” de Blasio said at his news briefing.

While the IDNYC program has existed since 2014, de Blasio said it’s more important now as a way for people who might not have other identification to be able to apply for pandemic aid programs like rent relief, childcare, and small business support.

The city reopened five more enrollment locations in July, for a total of 15 locations around the five boroughs and 4 pop-up locations.

Applicants can start the process online in a variety of languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian Creole, Korean, Bengali, Polish and Arabic. The paper application is available in 25 languages. All applications will require an in-person appointment at one of the IDNYC locations to finish the process.

The card is accepted by city agencies as a valid form of identification for many services and programs, including NYPD if they issue summonses or desk appearance tickets. It’s also accepted by employers when submitted with a proof of work authorization, and for kids ten years old and up who need to show ID to enter school buildings.

The card’s numerous benefits include free admission to cultural institutions, serving as a single library card to access the city’s three library systems, and even a $20 Costco gift card if you open a new membership at the store.

The IDNYC application does not collect immigration status, but much like the New York state DMV’s records, the program has been the target of Republican lawmakers who wanted to allow federal immigration and law enforcement agencies access to the program’s database of personal information. In 2017, a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the city’s Human Resources Administration, which oversees the program, retains the right to destroy any records related to proof of identity or residency of IDNYC applicants.

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