Frequently Asked Questions

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 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 if you do not have identification with an address, in instances where you would otherwise be issued a summons, the police officer will bring you into the police station instead.

You will also be able to use your IDNYC card as a library card. You can even use your IDNYC card to open a bank account at certain financial institutions. 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 store, 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?

You have to complete an IDNYC application, which is available online or at any of the IDNYC Enrollment Centers citywide. Bring the completed application and your proof for identity and residency to an Enrollment Center to sign up. You must apply for your card at an IDNYC enrollment center, listed here. Appointments are required. HRA will not accept any applications by mail and HRA will not be responsible for any documentation submitted by mail.

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 at https://idnyc.appointment-plus.com 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 6 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 will be available in 25 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 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 that require it. See FAQ Number 6 for details. Further, all centers have braille applications and can print large print materials on demand. All IDNYC staff is trained to provide reasonable accommodations upon request.

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 19. To learn more about this, please read our Language and Disability Access Plan.

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, 2016.

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 you what your immigration status. The card is available to all New York City residents who can establish 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, but 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. Please read more about the requirements here.

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 for all four (4) points. For proof of residency, IDNYC accepts residency confirmation letters for UN diplomats and their families issued by the U.S. Department of State, the 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 for?

The IDNYC card will be valid for 5 years from the date the IDNYC application is approved. This expiration date will be 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 a parent named on applicant's birth certificate. The caretaker must also provide at least 3 points proving his or her own identity, including photo identification. The applicant 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?

You will need to prove both your identity and your residency in New York City.

As proof of identity, applicants can provide documents such as 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, and when 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 here or by visiting an Enrollment Center.

20. If an applicant is over the age of 21, disabled (physically, intellectually, or developmentally), and doesn't have a photo ID or a proof of residency, can they apply with a caretaker?

Yes, regardless of age, applicants with disabilities who lack photo identification or proof of residency may apply if accompanied by a caretaker who can demonstrate proof of a relationship to the applicant. Eligible caretakers for an applicant over the age of 21 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);
  • A designated ACS foster care agency, or an OPWDD, NYS DOH or NYC DOHMH provider;
  • 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. You can download caretaker/residency letters for the above categories here.

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

All of your original documents provided to establish identity and residency will be returned to you immediately. The IDNYC program does not keep any of your original documents. For more information please refer to FAQ Number 31.

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

You must be at least 18 years old to consent to donate your organs and tissues and you must list an address on the application. The City of New York will transfer your name and identifying information for enrollment to the New York State Department of Health. You will receive additional confirmation from the State Department of Health, which will also provide an opportunity to limit your donation. "Organ Donor" will be printed on the front of your IDNYC Card.

23. 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. Copies of application materials will be destroyed no later than two years after they are submitted. To learn more about how the City will protect your information, please visit our Privacy and Confidentiality page.

24. 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.

25. 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 and either: 1) a certificate of marriage, civil union or domestic partnership or 2) a child's birth certificate that demonstrates the applicant's relationship to the spouse or domestic partner. The applicant must also present an attestation signed by the spouse or domestic partner establishing that the applicant resides with the spouse. View and print the attestation form.

26. 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.

27. 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.

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

If your card is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, you must go to an IDNYC Department of Finance Business Center location to apply for a replacement card. There is a $10.00 fee for a replacement card. You must bring all the documents you used to apply for the card. If you cannot afford to pay a $10.00 fee, you can fill out a Hardship Waiver, available at the IDNYC Department of Finance location.

29. 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.

30. What if I change my name or address?

Cardholders who change their address or name should update the information appearing on the 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 37and 38 for more information on IDNYC’s policy regarding documents that display non-identical names.

31. 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 http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/civil/namechanges.shtml.

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

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

An applicant who presents documents with non-identical names may still apply for the IDNYC card as long as the names are consistent across all of the documents. On the IDNYC application the applicant 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 the applicant wants his or her full name on the IDNYC card, the applicant must present at least one (1) additional point of identification showing the full name.

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

If the names on your identity or residency documents are diffferent 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.

34. 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 memberships for one year to 40 of the city's gardens and other cultural institutions. To learn about the membership terms at each institution visit our benefits page. This special one year free membership is available for all New Yorkers who apply or are approved for their IDNYC card in 2016.

35. My IDNYC card was issued in 2015 (expires in the year 2020). What benefits am I still eligible for?

If your card was issued in 2015 you are eligible for ALL of the card’s benefits except for the free membership benefits to some of the museums and cultural institutions. Visit the Museum and Cultural Institutions page to see the list of museums and cultural institutions offering free membership benefits to 2015 cardholders.

36. 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.

37. What can I not do with my card?

The IDNYC card does not authorize cardholders to drive or provide 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.

38. 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 feel you have seen the illegal sale of an IDNYC card or a fake IDNYC card, please call 311.

39. 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 on 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.

40. 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 over 31 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). For more information, click here.

41. 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. For more information on the IDNYC Veteran's Designation, click here.