There’s a wide range of opinions about what makes a New Yorker a New Yorker. Some say it takes a full ten years of living in the city, while others say it happens when you start giving cabbies directions, or stop getting bothered by that hot garbage smell. Now, it may be even easier to earn the distinction.
Starting today, the city is offering a brand-new, completely free identification card for everyone over the age of 14 who lives in New York City: The IDNYC card. The new card, which was launched in part to provide a form of identification for undocumented immigrants and those without a permanent address, represents the largest municipal ID program in the country. It was modeled after similar, smaller efforts in cities like New Haven and San Francisco, and offers some pretty amazing benefits for anyone who signs up.
The card will provide holders discounts on prescription drugs, and can be used to open accounts at some banks and credit unions. It also doubles as a library card at New York’s three public library systems.
In addition, a whopping 33 of New York’s leading cultural institutions—including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center and BAM—have come together to offer free one-year memberships to card holders. That means free admission to museums, discounted tickets to concerts, special members-only events and tons of other perks.
To get an IDNYC card, visit one of the Enrollment Centers and present the required forms of identification. The fastest and easiest way would be to present a New York driver’s license but they also accept combinations of documents including passports, birth certificates and bills.