The bill allows NYC residents who can prove residency and identity to obtain a municipal ID card that would permit them to access governmental services such as entering public buildings, obtain a library card, open a bank account and gain access to hospitals to visit patients and to schools to meet with their children’s teachers.
The bill is designed to primarily benefit NYC’s immigrants who face barriers to accessing a government issued form of identification. Similar programs have been implemented in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Haven.
The Municipal ID program will probably be administered by the Human Resources Administration. The plan is to have at least one site in each borough where applications will be made available for pick-up and submission. Documents will be required to prove identity and NYC residency.
The law should take effect soon — six months after it is signed into law by the Mayor. The administrating agency is permitted to establish a fee for applications for the ID card but will adopt rules permitting residents who cannot afford to pay such a fee to receive a full or partial waiver.
For information about the Municipal ID application process – once it becomes available – or if you have a question about an immigration matter, call the Catholic Charities–managed New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 8pm. Hotline operators can answer questions in up to 200 languages.