Secondary Navigation

Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Steven Banks and Commissioner Nisha Agarwal Announce Full Eligibility Criteria and Operational Details of IDNYC

December 5, 2014

Mayor de Blasio commits to robust fraud prevention measures and strict privacy protections for applicant information

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Human Resources Administration (HRA) Commissioner Steven Banks, and Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal announced today the publication of the municipal identification card program eligibility and privacy policies, establishing broad access for all New Yorkers to apply for the card while implementing strong measures to ensure applicant privacy and prevent against fraud and identity theft. The administration also announced the official name and logo of this historic initiative: IDNYC.

“A great deal of analysis and care went into ensuring our IDNYC card is strong on privacy and security, while providing access to as many people as possible,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We want New Yorkers to feel proud to carry this card in their wallet, but also to feel confident knowing that their information is safe and secure. I am pleased to announce today that we are truly delivering on the most ambitious municipal ID card program in the country, built with the best technology, secured with thoughtful privacy protections, and accessible to the widest cross-section of individuals.”

“HRA is proud to have been selected as the IDNYC program administrator based on our experience and expertise in serving millions of New Yorkers, while protecting against fraud,” said HRA Commissioner Steven Banks. “After listening closely to the feedback provided at the public hearing and in other forums, we developed Executive Orders that detail our commitment to applicant privacy, general program integrity, identity theft prevention and the creation of a customer-friendly appeals process. Through IDNYC, HRA will offer New Yorkers exemplary customer service on the front end and robust quality assurance and integrity procedures on the back end.”

“Thanks to the feedback we received from advocates, focus groups, immigrants, and the public hearings process, the IDNYC card reflects the needs and concerns of our communities,” said NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal. “We are going to continue to develop the program, working with businesses and our community partners to make new benefits available to cardholders as the program grows. Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to delivering to New Yorkers the best possible and most robust municipal ID card program in the country.”

“The City Council is proud to have spearheaded IDNYC, a groundbreaking program that will provide all New Yorkers with a safe, secure form of identification,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “We are strongly committed to helping residents take full advantage of what the City offers so they can contribute to the economic vibrancy of New York. The eligibility policies established by the Administration will ensure that no person will be excluded from applying for the largest municipal ID program in the nation.”

"I welcome the development of the IDNYC card, with its focus on protecting individuals' privacy," said Council Member Daniel Dromm, chief sponsor of the legislation creating the program.  "IDNYC creates a card that will grow with the city, and I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor de Blasio and Commissioners Agarwal and Banks to make this the best municipal ID card in the United States."

“New York City continues to push the boundaries that have historically kept government and community disconnected from one another,” said Councilmember Carlos Menchaca. “The launch of IDNYC addresses the growing concern that because of a lack of proper identification, New York City residents are missing out on some of the key resources that make New York both a world class cultural destination, and a City with resources available to help secure dignified life for hardworking families and individuals. This ID program represents the way that government can ensure that residents are enfranchised, empowered, and able to be fully a part of our diverse communities. I look forward to working with the Administration, my colleagues in the Council, and with community groups to ensure the success of this program in my district, and across the five boroughs.”

“The New York Immigration Coalition applauds the de Blasio Administration for creating a safe, secure, and accessible Municipal ID Program,” said Steve Choi, Executive Director of NYIC. The rules and executive orders announced today for IDNYC represent a program that will allow the fullest eligibility possible, the most privacy permissible under current law, and critical protections for our communities against fraud. We stand confidently behind IDNYC and thank the Administration for listening to and acting upon the concerns of immigrant and other communities. We look forward to continuing to work alongside the City to ensure successful implementation of IDNYC.”

“I am very excited for the launch of the Municipal ID program and commend the Mayor and his staff for listening to our concerns, taking them to heart and ensuring that New Yorkers get the best quality service and protections as they go through the process,” said Linda Sarsour, Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York.

On July 10, 2014, Mayor de Blasio signed Local Law No. 35, establishing the New York City Identification Card Program to ensure that every New Yorker is provided with the opportunity and peace of mind that comes with possessing a government issued photo identification. On August 4th, Mayor de Blasio signed Executive Order 6 of 2014 designating the Human Resources Administration as the administering agency of IDNYC.

The newly published rules provide that:

  1. The IDNYC Card will be provided to applicants free of charge (the de Blasio Administration has committed to making IDNYC available free of charge for the first year of the program through December 31, 2015)
  2. The IDNYC Card will expire after five years
  3. The minimum age to apply for the card will be 14 years of age
  4. Applicants will be required to present proof of identity and proof of residency in New York City
  5. Homeless New Yorkers without a permanent address will have the ability to obtain a card
  6. The card will provide address confidentiality protections to survivors of domestic violence

Additionally, the rules establish which documents may be used to demonstrate identity and residency.  The rule sets forth over 40 categories of documents that may be used to establish identity, including foreign passports and consular identification cards, foreign birth certificates, military identification, U.S. high school diplomas, and U.S. voter registration cards. Applicants will be able to demonstrate residency in New York City with cable, phone or utility bills, bank statements, and residential leases, among other documents. The documents will be accepted on a point-based system that weighs document value, similar to the one used by the New York State DMV.

Applicants without a home address will be able to list a Care Of address on their card. Passports that are machine-readable will be accepted up to three years after expiration, but all other documents must be current. There will be a 30-day window for applicants to appeal IDNYC denials.

The need for the City of New York to create an additional form of government-issued photo identification is significant, as approximately half of New York City residents age 16 and over do not have a New York State Driver’s License. The IDNYC Card will connect New Yorkers in all five boroughs – regardless of immigration status, homeless status, or gender identity – to public and private sector services, including one-year free membership packages at 33 of the City’s leading cultural institutions.

On October 8, 2014, HRA held a public hearing on the proposed IDNYC rules, receiving feedback from advocates and members of the public on how this card should reflect the needs of all New Yorkers, and address concerns about privacy and security.

As a result of the feedback received at the hearing, Commissioners Banks and Agarwal formed a workgroup to develop three executive orders, mandating high levels of protection for cardholder information and stringent processes for dealing with third party requests for IDNYC cardholder information. The HRA Executive Orders establish that only HRA staff designated by the IDNYC Executive Director and the HRA General Counsel will have access to the IDNYC applicant database, and all access to databases and servers will be tracked through audit logs.  A fourth executive order sets forth details concerning the administrative appeals process for applicants who have been denied a card. Commissioner Banks signed and issued the executive orders in conjunction with the publication of the rules.

Read the full HRA Executive Orders Here:

The technology firms Prutech and MorphoTrust were chosen through a competitive bid process to develop the card enrollment system. MorphoTrust is an internationally renowned company that works with 42 state DMVs to provide highly secure driver license and state identification cards. The firm has established itself as a leader in developing topline security systems that protect against fraud and offer among the most advanced security protections in the world. Prutech has a breadth of experience delivering complex technology projects for the City of New York.

The enrollment system will feature ID verification scanning technology and high-tech cameras. Additionally, nearly two dozen experienced HRA investigators have been hired by the IDNYC Program as Integrity Specialists to protect against fraud and verify applicant identity. IDNYC cards will be printed by 3M, which has established a reputation for its extensive experience printing fraud-resistant identification cards for states and national governments. The cards will be printed on polycarbonate cardstock and features will include an embedded hologram, applicant signature, an engraved City seal and a secondary, black and white ghost photo of the applicant.

IDNYC cards will be available to the public in January 2015. The full list of enrollment center locations will be announced in advance of the launch.

For more information and program updates, please visit:

Media Contact
(212) 788-2958