By Victoria Merlino
IDNYC, New York City’s free identification card program, will offer new benefits to the city’s 1.3 million cardholders starting next year, according to a Tuesday announcement by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The municipal ID card enables New Yorkers, especially residents who lack state or federal identification, to access city services and cultural institutions through associated benefits. IDNYC does not ask applicants for their immigrantion status and can be used to enter city government buildings, interact with city agencies and the NYPD, and be used at select banks to open an account.
A litany of cultural institutions, such as the Queens Museum, the Queens Theatre, the New York Botanical Garden, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1, the American Museum of Natural History and Flushing Town Hall, offer free year-long memberships to those with the card.
New organizations within the program include the The Apollo Theater, The Shed and the Whitney Museum.
“Over the last five years, IDNYC has become the largest and most successful municipal ID program in the nation because of this commitment to accessibility and inclusion, and this new expansion will ensure even more New Yorkers can participate,” de Blasio said in a statement.
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks praised the participating cultural institutions and encouraged New Yorkers to obtain their IDNYC card.
“I’ve seen how beneficial IDNYC has been in bringing people out of the shadows and connecting them to vital services,” Meeks said in a statement. “New York recognizes the value of diversity, and I am proud to welcome all new and returning members of the IDNYC program.”