Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Who can get an IDNYC card?

All New York City residents age 14 and older can get an IDNYC card. Applicants will be required to present proof of identity and residency in New York City. You can visit the IDNYC Document Calculator or view the IDNYC Applicant Document Guide to see the full list of documents that IDNYC accepts.

2. What are the benefits of getting the card?

You can use the card to enter all City buildings, such as schools, and access to City services. You can also use it to apply for jobs, when submitted with proof of work authorization. Police officers will accept the IDNYC card as valid identification. This is important because in instances where you would otherwise be issued a summons, the police officer will bring you into the police station instead if you do not have identification with an address on it.

You can use your IDNYC card as a library card at every public library in all five boroughs. You can even use your IDNYC card to open a bank account. There is also a package of benefits including free memberships to 40 cultural institutions and discounts on prescription drugs, movie tickets, sporting events, health and fitness clubs, New York City attractions, grocery stores, and much more.

3. Can I use my card to apply for a job?

You can use your IDNYC card as proof of identity when you apply for a job, but employers will almost certainly require additional proof of work authorization. IDNYC alone does not confer work authorization.

4. Where and how can I get an IDNYC card?

First you must complete an IDNYC application, which you can do online or at any of the IDNYC Enrollment Centers citywide. Next, you will need to make an appointment at an enrollment center, and bring your original or certified proof of identity and residency to your appointment.

5. Do I have to schedule an appointment?

Yes, appointments are required at this time. Next day appointments are available at multiple locations around the city. You can make an appointment on the Online Portal or by calling 311.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing and require an American Sign Language interpreter during your appointment, please refer to the FAQ Number 7 below.

6. If I don't speak English, will there be someone who can help me in my language?

Yes. There will be people at the Enrollment Center or on the phone who can speak to you in your preferred language. Applications are available in 34 languages.

7. What if I am deaf or hard of hearing and need a sign language interpreter?

Sign language interpretation is available on demand via a video relay service at all IDNYC enrollment centers. Further, all enrollment centers are equipped with an audio induction loop system.

If you prefer in-person sign language interpretation you may request it by emailing idnycasl@hra.nyc.gov or by calling the New York Relay Service at 711 and asking to be connected to NYC 311 at 212-NEW-YORK (212-639-9675). 311 opeartors can assist with scheduling an IDNYC appointment and IDNYC will make sure an interpreter is present. You must request in-person interpretation at least 2 business days in advance of your appointment. If you did not request an interpreter in advance, there may be a wait of up to 2 hours for a sign language interpreter when you arrive at your appointment.

8. Will the Centers be accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes. All permanent IDNYC Enrollment Centers are accessible to people with disabilities and are compliant with ADA accessibility rules. All are wheelchair accessible and have at least one low counter for ease of access. They are all equipped with an audio induction loop system for applicants who are hard of hearing and offer sign language interpretation for individuals who require it. See FAQ Number 7 for details. Further, all centers have braille applications and can print large print materials on demand. All IDNYC staff are trained to provide reasonable accommodations upon request. To learn more about this, please read our Language and Disability Access Plan.

Applicants who are disabled (physically, intellectually, or developmentally) can apply with a caretaker if they do not have a photo ID or a proof of residency document in their own name. For more information, please refer to FAQ Number 20.

9. If, due to a disability, I am unable to travel to an IDNYC enrollment center, how can I apply for my IDNYC card?

If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to apply for your IDNYC card, please call 311 or submit an inquiry online in order to make your request. An IDNYC staff member will contact you to review your request, confirm your eligibility for IDNYC, and make arrangements for your enrollment.

10. How much will the IDNYC card cost?

The IDNYC card is free for all New Yorkers who apply through December 31, 2018.

11. Does my immigration status affect my eligibility to get an IDNYC?

No. ALL New Yorkers, regardless of immigration status are eligible to receive the IDNYC card. The City will not ask about your immigration status. The card is available to all New York City residents who can establish their identity and residency.

12. Am I eligible for the card if I am on parole, on probation, or I have any pending charges or involvement with the criminal justice system?

Yes. The card is available to all New York City residents who can establish identity and residency, regardless of their past or present involvement with the criminal justice system.

IDNYC accepts the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) Released Offender ID Card for three (3) points of identity, including photo ID and proof of date of birth. This document is accepted for one (1) year from its issuance date, even if it has expired.

Department of Probation (DOP) clients can apply at any IDNYC enrollment center using the DOP Verification Form, which can be obtained at any DOP location in NYC. This form is intended to be used specifically for the purpose of applying for the IDNYC card. The DOP Verification Form is worth all four (4) points of documentation needed to apply.

You can visit the IDNYC Document Calculator or view the IDNYC Applicant Document Guide to see the full list of documents that IDNYC accepts.

13. Is there an age requirement to be eligible for the card?

You must be 14 years old to get an IDNYC card. If you are age 21 or younger and do not have a photo identification card, you can still apply for the IDNYC card, but you will need a caretaker with you when you apply. Learn more about caretaker requirements.

14. What information will be on the IDNYC card?

The card will feature your photograph, name, date of birth, signature, eye color, and height. Each card will have its own unique ID number. Since the card is valid for five years, it also has the expiration date. You can choose whether or not to include your gender (or not to display a gender), emergency contact information, whether you would like to be an organ donor, and your preferred language. If you are a U.S. Veteran you can have “Veteran” printed on the front of your IDNYC card.

The card will show your home address unless:

  • You are survivor of domestic violence and have security concerns about your address appearing on the IDNYC card; or
  • You live in a residential care program operated or overseen by HRA’s Emergency Intervention Services for the purpose of providing  shelter, services and care to survivors of domestic violence; or
  • You participate in the New York State Address Confidentiality Program; or
  • You lack a home address or reside in a shelter that has a maximum length of stay of up to 30 days.

Applicants without a home address may submit a letter from a community based organization or religious institution that agrees to have the address of the organization listed on your IDNYC card as a care-of address. Please see the IDNYC Proof of Residency section for more information.

15. Are foreign diplomats and their family members living in New York City eligible to apply for an IDNYC card?

Yes, foreign diplomats and their family members who provide proof of identity and residency in New York City are eligible to apply. IDNYC accepts the U.S. Department of State Driver's License or Non-Driver Identification Card as three (3) points of identity. If it has the applicant's current NYC address it can be used to prove residency. For proof of residency, IDNYC also accepts residency confirmation letters for UN diplomats and their families issued by the U.S. Department of State, the United Nations (UN), or a country's permanent mission to the UN. You can visit the IDNYC Document Calculator or view the IDNYC Applicant Document Guide to see full list of documents that IDNYC accepts.

16. How long is the IDNYC card valid?

The IDNYC card will be valid for 5 years from the date that your IDNYC application is approved. This expiration date is printed on the card.

17. Is a stepparent eligible to be the caretaker for an applicant age 14-21?

Yes. If the stepparent does not have legal documentation of adoption or guardianship, he or she must present two (2) documents to establish his or her relationship to the applicant: 1) the applicant's birth certificate, and 2) a certificate of marriage, civil union or domestic partnership showing that the caretaker is married to or is the domestic partner of one of the parents named on the applicant's birth certificate. The caretaker must also provide at least 3 points proving his or her own identity, including photo identification. Applicant's accompanied by caretakers must present at least 2 points proving identity, including date of birth.

18. What type of documents can I use to prove my residency and identity?

To enroll in the IDNYC program, you will need to provide proof of both your identity and your residency in New York City. All documents presented must be originals or copies certified by the agency that issued them.

To prove identity, applicants can present U.S. or foreign passports, U.S. or foreign driver's licenses, U.S. or foreign birth certificates, green cards, consular identification cards, individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) authorization letters, electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards, school identification cards, and more. Depending on the documents presented, applicants may be asked to provide more than one item.

As proof of New York City residency, applicants can provide documents such as a New York State driver's license with a current address, a utility bill, a current lease, and a recent bank account statement, a letter from a homeless shelter or City agency, and much more.

19. How will I know which documents I need?

The IDNYC program uses a point system to let you know when you can bring just one document, such as a driver's license with your current NYC address, or if you need to bring more than one. Applicants must provide three (3) points for proof of identity and one (1) point for proof of residency. You can see the full point value associated with each accepted document online or by visiting an Enrollment Center.

20. If an applicant is disabled (physically, intellectually, or developmentally), and doesn't have a photo ID or a proof of residency, can they apply with a caretaker?

Yes, applicants with disabilities who lack photo identification or proof of residency may apply if acompanied by a caretaker who can demonstrate proof of a relationship to the applicant. Eligible caretakers for a disabled applicant of any age are:

  • Authorized employees from the NY State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), the NY State Department of Health (NYS DOH), the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH), the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH);
  • Authorized employees of a designated ACS foster care agency, or an OPWDD, NYS DOH or NYC DOHMH provider;
  • Authorized employees of residential care facilities operated, certified or funded by OPWDD, NYS DOH, NYS OMH or NYC DOHMH;
  • Cohabitants of applicants who have been determined by OPWDD to be a person with a developmental disability.

For more information you can visit the IDNYC Document Calculator , and you can download caretaker/residency letters for the above categories .

21. What happens to my information and documents after I provide them for my IDNYC enrollment appointment?

All of the original documents that you provide to establish identity and residency will be returned to you before you leave the enrollment center. The IDNYC program does not copy, scan, or in any other way retain any of your original documents. For more information please refer to FAQ Number 24.

22. How can I sign up to be an organ donor?

You must be at least 16 years old to consent to donate your organs and tissues and you must list an address on the application. If you choose to be a donor, the City of New York will transfer your name and other identifying information from your IDNYC application to the New York State Department of Health (DOH). DOH, will confirm your enrollment, and give you the oppotunity to limit your donation. "Organ Donor" will be printed on the front of your IDNYC Card.

23. How can I remove my "Organ Donor" designation from my card?

If you would like to remove the “Organ Donor” designation printed on your card, you must fill out an application for a change of information on your card, and make an appointment at an enrollment center where you will complete the replacement process. You can make the appointment on the Online Portal, or by calling 311.

You can fill out the application online or at the enrollment center. You must bring your current IDNYC card to the appointment. If you do not have your card, you will need to apply for a replacement for a lost or stolen card.

Please note: Removing the “Organ Donor” designation from your IDNYC card does NOT remove you from the New York State Donate Life Registry. You can remove your name from the registry list by doing one of the following:

  1. By Phone: Call the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at 1-866-NYDONOR (1-866-693-6667) and request that you be removed from the registry.
  2. By Email: Submit a New York State Donate Life Registry Removal Form to DonorReg@health.ny.gov.
  3. By Mail: Send the New York State Donate Life Registry Removal Form to:

    The New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry
    New York State Department of Health
    875 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206

24. How will the City protect my personal identity and residency information?

The City will protect the confidentiality of all IDNYC applicants to the maximum extent allowable by applicable federal and state law, and in accordance with NYC Administrative Code Section 3-115. The IDNYC program does not copy, scan, or in any other way keep any of the documents used to provde your identity and residency. To learn more about how the City will protect your information, please visit our Privacy and Confidentiality page.

25. How do I check the status of my application?

You can check your application status by using the Online Portal. Select the "Check your Application Status" option on the dashboard. You will need to enter your IDNYC Number, or you can enter your Application Number if you submitted an online application.

26. How will I receive the card?

The card will be mailed to you. If you are homeless or a survivor of domestic violence and choose not have your address listed on the card, you will be able to pick it up in person at the IDNYC Enrollment Center where you applied.

27. Can I use a residency document that has my spouse or domestic partner's name on it instead of my own?

Yes, applicants who don't have proof of residency with their own name may present a document with their spouse or domestic partner's name on it, along with the following two (2) additional documents: 

1) Either a certificate of marriage, civil union or domestic partnership or a child's birth certificate that demonstrates the applicant's relationship to the spouse or domestic partner; and 

2) An attestation signed by the spouse or domestic partner stating that the applicant resides with the spouse or domestic partner. View and print the attestation form.

28. What is the point value of a New York State DMV interim Driver's License/Learner's Permit and an NYS DMV interim Identification card?

The NYS DMV Interim Driver's License, Learner's Permit, or Non-Driver ID is worth two (2) points of ID and can be used to prove date of birth. It also provides (1) point of proof of residency, if it bears the applicant's current address.

In addition, if an applicant's NYS DMV Driver's License, Learner's Permit, or Non-Driver ID has expired, it is worth the full four (4) points if presented along with an unexpired NYS DMV interim Driver's License, Learner's Permit, or Non-Driver ID, bearing the same identification number and the applicant's current address.

29. How will I be notified if I am denied an IDNYC card?

A letter will be sent to the address you provided on the application telling you that you have been denied.

30. What do I do if my card is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed?

If your card is lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed, you can apply for a replacement card. There is a $10.00 fee for lost and stolen cards, which you can pay for in one of these two ways:

  1. Online, by using the Online Portal. After you complete the “Replace Your Card” application online, you will be directed to the CityPay website to pay the fee using an eCheck or any major credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or a signature debit card). After you pay online, you can complete the replacement application process at any IDNYC enrollment center or pop-up location.
  2. In person, by paying the fee at one of IDNYC's Department of Finance (DOF) enrollment centers. First, schedule an appointment at a DOF enrollment center through the Online Portal or by calling 311. At the enrollment center, you will be guided through the application process by IDNYC staff members. When you choose to pay in person, you can fill out the replacement card application either (1) online before going to the enrollment center, or (2) at the DOF enrollment center when you pay.

    Remember: If you are paying in person, your application appointment must take place at a DOF enrollment center. IDNYC cannot accept in-person payment at any other centers.

Regardless of how you pay, you must bring to the enrollment center all of the required proof of your identity and residency. Learn more about identity and residency requirements.

If you cannot afford to pay the $10.00 fee, you can fill out a Hardship Waiver, which is only available at Department of Finance enrollment centers.

If you have a question about an online payment, please contact us online.

31. Am I eligible for a Hardship Waiver for my replacement card?

Applicants who are unable to pay $10.00 can request a hardship waiver to obtain a replacement card free of charge.

32. Can I get a refund for the $10 replacement card fee?

If you paid the $10 replacement card fee online but did not complete your enrollment at an IDNYC Enrollment Center, you may be eligible for a refund. You must submit your request within 60 days of the online payment.

To request a refund, visit the “Contact Us” section of the IDNYC website, or call 311.

33. What if I change my name or address?

Cardholders who change their address or name should update the information on their card. Please make an appointment at any enrollment center and bring your old card along with a document from the IDNYC document list reflecting the new address or name.

If you have changed your name and the documents you use to prove your identity and residency display your prior name (i.e., your maiden name or your former legal name prior to your name change) you must also bring in your marriage certificate, a court-ordered name change order, or another government-issued document that establishes a lawful name-change.

If you prefer to use a chosen name other than the name listed on your proof of identity documents, and you would like your chosen name to be listed on your IDNYC card, then you must first obtain a legal name change. More information is available at New York Courts.

Please refer to FAQ Numbers 35 and 36 for more information on IDNYC’s policy regarding documents that display non-identical names.

34. I am transgender and I want my chosen name to appear on my IDNYC card. What should I do?

The IDNYC card will include the name that is listed on your "proof of identity" documents (such as your passport, driver license, birth certificate, consular ID, etc.) unless you also present a court-ordered name change order with your chosen name.

If you use a chosen name other than the name listed on your “proof of identity” documents and you would like your chosen name to be listed on your IDNYC card, then you must first obtain a legal name change ordered by a court. More information is available at New York Courts.

If you are transgender and need legal assistance with a legal name change, or if you have questions related to name changes for undocumented immigrants, you can contact the following organizations:

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), LGBTQ Law Project

Phone: (212) 613-5000 ext. 5107
Email: LGBTQlaw@nylag.org
Website: www.nylag.org/lgbtq

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Phone: (212) 337-8550
Email: info@srlp.org
Website: www.srlp.org
(Primarily serves low-income individuals or recipients of public benefits)

Make the Road New York, LGBTQ Justice Project

Phone: (718) 565-8500, ext. 4412 (Bianey Garcia)
Email: bianey.garcia@maketheroadny.org
Website: www.maketheroadny.org
(Available for questions and help; not legal representation)

City Bar Justice Center, LGBT Advocacy Project

Phone: (212) 382-6759
Address: 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
Website: http://www2.nycbar.org/citybarjusticecenter/projects/lgbt-advocacy-project

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Name Change Project

Phone: 646-862-9396 (Patricia Harrington)
Email: namechange@transgenderlegal.org
Website: http://transgenderlegal.org/work_show.php?id=7

35. What if I have more than one variation of my name on my documents?

If you present documents with non-identical names you may still apply for the IDNYC card as long as the names are consistent across all of the documents. On the IDNYC application you must use the full name exactly as it appears on the identity document with the highest point value.

In the event that an applicant presents two (2) documents of equal point value the applicant must use the full name listed on the identity document that includes a photo.

If the name on the identity document with the highest point value has been cut off, initialed, or abbreviated due to space constraints, and you want your full name on the IDNYC card, you must present at least one (1) additional point of identification showing the full name that you put on your application.

36. What if the names on my documents are not identical or consistent?

If the names on your identity or residency documents are different because your name has been legally changed (for example, through marriage, divorce or a court-ordered change) you will need to present an additional document proving that your name has been legally changed. This additional document can be either:

  • A Marriage Certificate;
  • A Court Order establishing a name change, i.e., an Order of Divorce specifically establishing a name change; a Certificate of Adoption specifically establishing a name change; or a Name Change Court Order; or
  • A certified copy of a NYS DOH Report of Adoption (DOH-1928) that refers to the name change in the amended birth certificate section.
  • Another government-issued document that establishes a legal name change.

Without this proof, IDNYC cannot accept documents bearing inconsistent variations of an applicant's name.

37. How will I be able to take advantage of the memberships at museums, zoos, concert halls, botanical gardens, and other cultural institutions?

You can use the card to sign up for free one-year memberships at more than 40 of the city's top museums, zoos, botanical gardens and other cultural institutions. To learn about each institution's terms of membership, visit our benefits page.

38. My identity documents are not in English; does IDNYC have onsite document translation services?

IDNYC has many bilingual staff members who can review your documents on-site. If no one is available at the time of your appointment, where reasonably able we will provide you with free, same-day document translation service. Or you can schedule an appointment for a free on-site document interpreter for another time that is more convenient for you. Please call 311 or contact us online to arrange this service.

39. How do I know when my card was issued?

Your date of issue is exactly five years before the expiration date on the face of the card. If your card expires on July 3, 2020, it was issued on July 3, 2015. If it expires on February 14, 2021, it was issued on February 14, 2016.

40. What can I not do with my card?

The IDNYC card does not authorize cardholders to drive, and is not accepted as proof of identity to obtain a driver's license. The card also does not authorize cardholders to purchase alcohol or tobacco products, receive public assistance benefits, or travel on an airplane. The IDNYC does not confer immigration status or provide work authorization.

41. What if I see an unauthorized sale of the IDNYC card?

The IDNYC card is free and should not be sold anywhere. You can only get an IDNYC card by submitting an application at one of our Enrollment Centers. If you believe you have seen the illegal sale of an IDNYC card or a fake IDNYC card, please call 311.

42. What is the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) and how does it affect IDNYC?

The Freedom of Information Law is New York State's principal statute providing for public access to the records of government.

IDNYC complies fully with the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), which was enacted to assure public accountability of state and local agencies while protecting individuals against unwarranted invasions of personal privacy. Public records are made available through the Records Access Officer for the Human Resources Administration (HRA), the administering agency for IDNYC. The Records Access Officer is responsible for ensuring the appropriate agency response to public requests for access to non-confidential records.

Pursuant to NYC Administrative Code Section 3-115(e)(4), information collected about applicants for the IDNYC card shall be treated as confidential and may only be disclosed if authorized in writing by the individual to whom such information pertains, or if such individual is a minor or is otherwise not legally competent, by such individual’s parent or legal guardian.

Persons seeking access to public records maintained by IDNYC pursuant to the FOIL are advised to contact:

Records Access Officer
Office of Legal Affairs
Human Resources Administration
150 Greenwich Street, 38th Floor
New York, NY 10038

email: FOIL@HRA.nyc.gov

FOIL records are available for inspection and copying Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by appointment only. Questions regarding the Freedom of Information Law itself may be directed to the Committee on Open Government.

43. How do I learn about other City services I am eligible for?

ACCESS NYC is a website that allows New Yorkers to screen for eligibility for more than thirty City, State, and Federal benefit programs in seven languages. Residents can learn how to apply, print out application forms, and determine agency locations where they can go to directly apply for services. ACCESS NYC provides online applications for benefits including the rent increase exemption programs (SCRIE and DRIE), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Learn more on HRA's online portal.

44. Does my discharge status affect my eligibility for the IDNYC Veteran Designation?

Consistent with the City of New York's definition of veteran status, the IDNYC Veteran Designation is available to all veterans who have served in the active military service of the United States and who have been released from such service otherwise than by dishonorable discharge. Learn more about the IDNYC Veteran's Designation.

45. What is the IDNYC Online Portal?

The IDNYC Online Portal allows you to submit your application online before you come to the enrollment center for your appointment, making your application process quicker and easier. With the Online Portal you can also check your application status after you have applied, schedule or manage your appointment and send inquiries to our Customer Service team.

46. How do I get a copy of my own or my child's immunization record?

As an IDNYC cardholder, you may use My Vaccine Record to access your or your child's immunization record online. The Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) uses your IDNYC information only to confirm your identity, and does not keep it.

If you are a parent, guardian or other person in a parental or custodial relationship to the child, this relationship must be reported to the CIR for you to be authorized to access your child's record. Make sure your child's health care provider has up-to-date the parent/guardian' contact information each time your child gets vaccinated.

You can also request an immunization record by mailing or faxing the completed Immunization Record Request Application (PDF). You may also call 311 to request a copy of the form.

47. How can an employer verify whether an IDNYC card is valid?

IDNYC can be accepted by employers to establish the identity of potential employees, when submitted with proof of work authorization. If you are an employer who would like to verify the validity of a potential employee’s IDNYC card, you may contact IDNYC by email and an IDNYC representative will reach out to you regarding next steps. Please DO NOT include any of the cardholder’s personal information in the email.