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Press Release

THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

City Hall
New York, NY 10007
           (212) 788-7116
**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** 
June 27, 2014

Contact: (212) 788-7116
Release #: ##-2014

COUNCIL VOTES ON LEGISLATION TO CREATE MUNICIPAL IDENTIFICATION PROGRAM
New York City Identity Card Will Expand Access to Key City Services, Provide Safe and Secure Identification

City Hall – Today, the City Council will vote on legislation to establish a New York City Identity Card program that will increase and facilitate access to public and city services.

The legislation requires the City to offer a secure municipal identification card to any established resident living within the five boroughs. Under the new program, City agencies would be required to accept the card where identification is requisite to provide access to City services. The card will include, at a minimum, the cardholder’s photo, name, date of birth, address, and an expiration date. Applicants will be able to elect to include his or her self-designated gender.

Many New Yorkers, such as undocumented immigrants, seniors, and displaced youth, face barriers to obtaining valid and widely-accepted means of identification because they cannot produce the required documentation of residency and identity. The New York City Identity Card program will reduce this obstacle by accepting broader array of documents that applicants may use to establish residency and identity.  To increase effectiveness and participation in the New York City Identity Card program, the City will be required to expand benefits once implemented and create public-private partnerships with banks and other service providers that traditionally require identification.  The New York City Identity Card would not only be less expensive than state issued identification, but there will also be partial or full waivers for those who cannot afford the fee.

“Every New Yorker deserves equal access to the services and benefits our city uniquely has to offer, yet too many individuals are forced to forgo these opportunities for lack of valid identification,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.  “This legislation will level the playing field and expand access to greater opportunities to anyone who calls New York City home, including those who have been historically excluded from obtaining state identification or an ID that represents their self-assigned gender. The New York City ID program will encourage and embrace the diversity that makes us so exceptional, and I thank Council Member Daniel Dromm and Council Member Carlos Menchaca for their thoughtful leadership on this legislation.”

“Municipal ID's for all will be a great benefit for all New Yorkers," said Council Member Daniel Dromm."Countless people, from the immigrant family in Sunset Park to the transgender youth in Jackson Heights, will now have access to identification vital to performing basic daily tasks, from accessing city buildings to opening bank accounts. Particularly exciting is the program’s flexibility to grow to encompass a wide array of practical benefits for all residents. A New York City identification card accessible to all only serves to strengthen the relationship of our diverse communities to our schools, our police, and city government as a whole."

“The passage of legislation to create a municipal ID card program in New York City is truly historic,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “This will be the largest and most successful program of its kind, benefitting all New Yorkers as they access programs, services and cultural institutions.  It has been a privilege to work on this legislation alongside Council Member Dromm and Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito, and in partnership with the Administration.  As a result of this bill, identification will no longer be a privilege for New Yorkers- a momentous step for the many communities that have historically felt disconnected from the City they call home.”

 

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