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1. Who can get an IDNYC card?
All New York City residents age 10 and older can apply for 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 to print online or at any of the IDNYC Enrollment Centers citywide.
5. Do I have to schedule an appointment?
We encourage you to make an appointment, but welcome walk-ins! Should you arrive fewer than 30 minutes prior to our Enrollment Center's lunch hour or closing time, we may not be able to enroll you but will gladly reschedule your appointment or make you a new one. Applicants with appointments are granted a 15-minute grace period based on the day's enrollment capacity, determined by the site supervisor. You can make an appointment online 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 will be available in 35 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 7 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. 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, 2020.
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 is. 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.
13. Is there an age requirement to be eligible for the card?
You must be 10 years old to apply for 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 IDNYC 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 2 years for applicants 10-13, and five years for applicants 14 and older, it also has the expiration date. You can choose whether or not to include your 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:
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. Can I choose my gender designation? How?
When applying for your IDNYC card, you may choose which ever gender option is most comfortable and accurate for you.
You may select to designate your gender as “Female”, “Male”, “X” to designate a gender that is neither male nor female, or “Not Designated” to leave this field blank. You may change or remove a gender designation on your IDNYC card, at no cost to you, the cardholder.
You do not need to submit any proof of your gender identity when selecting, changing, or removing your gender designation.
16. What does the gender designation “X” mean?
“X” is a non-binary gender designation. Non-binary means a designation that is neither male nor female.
Many people identify as male or female, men or women (i.e. with a “binary” gender identity). However, some people do not identify as either men or women. This can include people who identify as “non-binary” (i.e not male or female). Non-binary gender identity refers to a gender identity that is neither male nor female.On the IDNYC card, people who do not identify as either male or female may select the gender option of “X”. Cardholders also have the option to leave the gender field blank altogether. Applicants do not need to submit any “proof” of their gender identity in order to select one of these options.
17. 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 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.
18. How long is the IDNYC card valid for?
For applicants 10-13 years old, the card will expire after 2 years. For applicants 14 and older, 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.
19. Is a stepparent eligible to be the caretaker for an applicant age 10-21?
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.
20. 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 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 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.
21. 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 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 online or by visiting an Enrollment Center.
22. If an applicant has a (physical, intellectual, or developmental) disability, 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 accompanied by a caretaker who can demonstrate proof of a relationship to the applicant. Eligible caretakers for a disabled applicant are:
For more information you can visit the IDNYC Document Calculator. You can also download caretaker/residency letters for the above categories.
23. 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.
24. 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. 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.
25. 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:
26. 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.
27. 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.
28. 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 to 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.
29. 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.
30. What is the point value of a New York State DMV interim driver license/learner permit and an NYS DMV interim identification card?
The NYS DMV interim driver license, learner 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 license, learner 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 license, learner permit, or non-driver ID, bearing the same identification number and the applicant's current address.
31. 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.
32. 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:
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 IDNYC Enrollment Centers.If you have a question about an online payment, please contact us online.
33. 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.
34. Can I get a refund for the $10 replacement card fee?
You may be eligible for a refund if you paid the $10 replacement card fee online but did not complete your enrollment at an IDNYC Enrollment Center. In addition, 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.
35. 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 number 36 for more information on IDNYC’s policy regarding documents that display non-identical names.
36. 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 immigrants, you can contact the following organizations:
New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), LGBTQ Law Project
Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Make the Road New York, LGBTQ Justice Project
City Bar Justice Center, LGBT Advocacy Project
Phone: (212) 382-6759
Address: 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Name Change Project
37. 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.
38. 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:
Without this proof, IDNYC cannot accept documents bearing inconsistent variations of an applicant's name.
39. 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 at over 35 of the city's top museums, zoos, botanical gardens and other cultural institutions. To learn about the membership terms at each institution visit our benefits page.
40. My identity documents are not in English; does IDNYC have onsite document translation services?
IDNYC has many bilingual staff members that are able to review your documents on-site. Where reasonably able we will provide you with free, same-day document translation service. Or you can make an appointment for another time, at your convenience, to schedule an appointment for a free on-site document interpreter. Please call 311 or contact us online to arrange this service.
41. 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.
42. What can I not do with my card?
IDNYC cardholders who wish to use their card at non-local government agencies or private businesses that are not listed on the IDNYC Benefits webpage should contact the agency or business ahead of time to ask about their acceptance of IDNYC.
43. 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.
44. 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
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.
45. 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 11 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 HRA 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.
46. 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.
47. What is the IDNYC Online Portal?
The IDNYC Online Portal allows you to submit your application online so that you do not have to complete any paperwork when you come to the Enrollment Center for your appointment. Using the Online Portal will make 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.
48. 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. Your IDNYC information will be used only to confirm your identity. The Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) does not keep this information. If you do not have an IDNYC card and would like to apply for one, learn more about getting your IDNYC card.
If you are a parent, guardian or other person in parental or custodial relation to the child, your information must have been reported to the CIR for you to be authorized to access your child's record. Ask your child's health care provider to update the parent/guardian's 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.
49. How can an employer verify whether an IDNYC card is valid?
IDNYC can be accepted by employers to establish the identity of potefntial 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.
50. Are all IDNYC Cards issued with “idnyc” embossed in braille?
Yes, beginning mid-January 2020, “idnyc” will be embossed on the front of all new IDNYC cards.
51. Can anyone replace their current card with an IDNYC card that has “idnyc” embossed in braille?
Yes! Cards without “idnyc” embossed in braille may be replaced with a new card at no cost. Visit any Enrollment Center to process a replacement.
52. Why are IDNYC cards being issued with “idnyc” embossed in braille?
This will help IDNYC cardholders who are blind or have low vision and read braille to identify and utilize the card.
53. How will the City continue to expand access to those who are blind or have low vision?
This is one step of many in the City’s work to make NYC more accessible to individuals with disabilities. We look forward to furthering the City’s work with the blind and low vision community people who are blind and low vision.