December 15, 2021
NEW YORK—The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Raquel Batista, NYC Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Steven Banks, and NYC Department of Correction Commissioner (DOC) Vincent Schiraldi today announced reforms to help formerly incarcerated individuals to obtain identification.
To obtain an IDNYC, the City’s free municipal identification card, applicants must prove their identity by showing several forms of ID. Today, the City is expanding its list of acceptable documents to include ID information and photos maintained by DOC. The information already maintained by DOC as part of the detention process will serve as one point of identification, easing the steps to get an IDNYC card for formerly incarcerated individuals.
“At the Department of Social Services, our top priority has been improving social services delivery through a range of reforms that make it easier for New Yorkers in need to access the resources to which they are entitled,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “With basic proof of identification needed to apply for and access many government services and supports, the IDNYC program has given more than a million New Yorkers an effective form of ID and made our City fairer and more inclusive – but we knew we could take that progress further. This common-sense reform will help us better support more New Yorkers, regardless of background, which includes addressing the unique needs of individuals who’ve experienced criminal legal system involvement, who deserve the same access to opportunity and services as other New Yorkers.”
“Formerly incarcerated individuals are often left vulnerable due to the transient nature and varied circumstances when released from DOC custody,” said Raquel Batista, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “This effort will allow the procurement of necessary identity documents after their release so they can experience a safe integration back to society and experience IDNYC’s wide variety of benefits.”
“A core part of our mission is to help people return to their communities with tools that will allow them to thrive,” said Vincent Schiraldi, Commissioner of the Department of Correction. “This is a common-sense effort that will make people’s lives better.”
Individuals leaving DOC custody often do not have photo identification, which impedes their ability to reintegrate into the community and access critical assistance programs and benefits. This new effort will help facilitate reentry for formerly incarcerated individuals by allowing them to use documentation produced in connection with their detention as proof of identity in obtaining IDNYC.
To apply for IDNYC, applicants will need a total of four points from documents proving identity and NYC residency.
For more information about documents accepted by IDNYC and to book an appointment, please visit nyc.gov/idnyc or call 311 and say “IDNYC.”
“IDNYC has provided millions of New Yorkers from various backgrounds with the necessary identification to access vital services in our city regardless of their immigration status. With this new announcement, formally incarcerated New Yorkers will also now be able to benefit from this program and have one less barrier to reintegrating back into society. I want to thank the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the NYC Department of Social Services, and the NYC Department of Correction for their support and collaboration on this important initiative,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
"Now more than ever, we need to ensure all New Yorkers can have access to critical government services, including health and vaccine access, to combat the new COVID19 Omicron variant. And having identification is key to unlocking these services. The new IDNYC initiative with the Department of Corrections that ensures formerly incarcerated can prove their identity through DOC records is the right step to help these New Yorkers get back on their feet," said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, Chair of the Committee on Immigration. "As the lead sponsor of the IDNYC legislation, I envisioned a program that made it easier, but securely, for vulnerable New Yorkers regardless of their immigration or economic status to get their municipal ID. MOIA's new initiative with DOC gets us closer to a vision of justice."
"To justly support formerly incarcerated individuals' reentry to our communities and the workforce, the city needs to eliminate the barriers that hinder this process. The reforms by the City's agencies will facilitate getting the identification these individuals need not only for their reentry but to also access critical resources. This is how we advance racial justice," said Council Member Francisco Moya.
“For formerly incarcerated individuals, lack of photo identification often acts as a barrier to reintegration into their communities. Today, New York City is taking action to change that by reducing the points of identification that formerly incarcerated individuals must actively provide, easing the process to get an IDNYC card. I commend the de Blasio administration for taking this step, and I will continue to fight for more reintegration resources and supportive services for the formerly incarcerated,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
“Formerly incarcerated individuals face enough challenges accessing housing, employment, benefits, and other programs as they return home,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Making the process easier for individuals to obtain an IDNYC card will go a long way. I applaud the inter-agency collaboration by MOIA, DSS, and DOC to make this reform happen.”
About the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) promotes the well-being of NYC’s immigrant communities by advocating for policies that increase justice, equity, and empowerment. MOIA leads, supports, and manages programs that help to successfully include immigrant New Yorkers into the civic, economic, and cultural life of the City. For more information on all MOIA services and the City’s many resources for immigrant New Yorkers, go to nyc.gov/immigrants; call the MOIA hotline at 212-788-7654 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday or send an email to AskMOIA@cityhall.nyc.gov; and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
About the Department of Correction
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive environment while providing individuals in our care with a path to successfully re-enter their communities.
About the Department of Social Services (DSS)
The Department of Social Services, comprised of the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), serves more than three million New Yorkers annually through a broad range of services that aim to address poverty, income inequality, and prevent homelessness. In April 2016, following a comprehensive review of the City’s homelessness policies, Mayor de Blasio announced a major restructuring of homeless services in New York City and appointed Commissioner Steven Banks to lead the Department of Social Services, which integrated HRA and the Department of Homeless Services under a joint management structure in 2017. HRA serves over 3 million New Yorkers through the administration of more than 12 major public assistance programs with 15,000 employees. DHS oversees a broad network of shelters and services with 2,000 employees and is dedicated to helping New Yorkers experiencing homelessness get back on their feet as quickly as possible. DSS is central in implementing Mayor de Blasio’s agenda to expand opportunity for more New Yorkers, help homeless New Yorkers secure stable housing, address income inequality, and ensure that New Yorkers receive the benefits and assistance to which they are entitled.