New York City officials Friday unveiled the eligibility and privacy details behind a municipal ID program to be launched Jan. 1 and accessible to city residents regardless of immigration status.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council officials have expressed confidence that numerous protections will help prevent the cards or personal information from being used fraudulently. The municipal ID cannot be used for travel or for services outside the city.
"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," de Blasio said in a statement.
The initiative, called "IDNYC," is the largest of its kind nationwide. San Francisco and New Haven, Connecticut, are among the other cities that issue municipal ID cards.
More than 40 categories of documents may be used to establish identity, including foreign passports, military ID and U.S. high school diplomas. Residency can be shown with utility bills, leases and other documents. Passports that can be scanned or read by a machine will be accepted up to three years after they expire. Other documents must be current.
Residents who arrived in the country illegally and do not qualify for documentation issued by the state or federal governments may be able to receive a New York City ID card.
According to the newly published rules, the IDNYC card will be provided to qualified applicants free of charge for the first year and will expire after five years. Residents must be at least 14 years old to apply. Homeless New Yorkers can obtain a card if they list a "care of" address, and address confidentiality protections will be available to survivors of domestic violence.
Two technology firms -- PruTech of Iselin, New Jersey, and MorphoTrust of Billerica, Massachusetts -- won bids to develop a card enrollment program. The city has also contracted with 3M, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, to print the IDs on polycarbonate cardstock with an embedded hologram and engraved city seal.
The mayor's office did not disclose the value of the three firms' contracts, but the IDNYC program is projected to cost $8.4 million in its first year and $5.6 million each subsequent year.
In an effort to woo more New Yorkers as applicants, the city has said the card would come with cultural perks such as free membership to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
An estimated 500,000 immigrants who are undocumented live in New York City.