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Chicago’s ‘CityKey’ municipal ID program set to launch in March

Written by
Kris Vire
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Get ready to start flashing your “CityKey.” At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Clerk Anna Valencia revealed new details about Chicago’s forthcoming municipal ID program, including that new moniker for the identification cards, which will also serve as Ventra passes and Chicago Public Library cards.

Other new info includes the cost to cardholders: The first 100,000 applicants when the program launches in March—delayed from the initial target to get the cards out in 2017—will get their CityKey free, with the standard fee for most residents set at $10. Applicants under the age of 18 will pay $5; application fees will be waived for seniors 65 and over, low-income and homeless citizens, veterans, victims of domestic violence and participants in the One Summer Chicago jobs program, the Sun-Times reports.

The new ID program was conceived in part to facilitate access to city services for marginalized populations like the homeless and undocumented immigrants. But applicants will have to provide some documentation to establish their identity and residency; those documents could include things like high school transcripts or military discharge forms. The city has pledged that it will neither retain nor share with any other government agencies any of the information provided with CityKey applications.

Other perks beyond the Ventra and library functions are expected to be announced as part of a public education campaign in the first quarter of 2018, ahead of the CityKey launch. The Sun-Times quoted city clerk Valencia alluding to discount partnerships tied to the new IDs: “We already have a commitment from a sporting team, from a museum, from some local businesses and a theater that we’ll be rolling out in January and February.”

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