IDNYC launches online application system

IDNYC has started an online application system.
IDNYC has started an online application system. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Don’t want to wait in line to get a city ID card? Now you can apply for one without leaving home.

The popular IDNYC program will be taking online applications through a website that launched Wednesday morning.

Michael Russo, the IT director for IDNYC, said some New Yorkers felt turned off about applying for a card — which is offered to any New York City resident at least 14 years old — because they had to wait at a processing center and have the proper paperwork prepared.

The option to do most of that application at home “adds a whole level of streamlining,” he said.

The website, nyc.gov/idnyc, will send basic information about the user, such as name and address, and any special status, such as veteran or homeless-shelter resident, to the reviewers.

A digital document calculator will assist applicants by showing them which forms are needed for approval, such as a pay stub or immigration visa, Russo said.

Once the application is submitted, users will receive a confirmation number and will be able to schedule an in-person final approval at one of the IDNYC enrollment centers located in the five boroughs.

“By the time you get to [an enrollment] center, you’re getting your documents reviewed and then your picture taken,” Russo said.

The website, which is available in eight languages, will also let New Yorkers update the information on their card, check the status of an application or request a replacement card.

Russo emphasized that the website, which has been in the works for six months, collects no data from the document-calculator section, so the city won’t know what identification documents the applicant possesses. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would stop collecting personal data on IDNYC users this year, over concerns that it could be used by the federal government to seek undocumented residents.

The information on the 1 million cardholders who signed up over the past two years was slated to be destroyed last month, but the move was halted by a judge as part of a lawsuit brought against the city by two Republican state Assembly members from Staten Island.

In addition to providing the user with a valid city ID document, the card provides discounts to various stores and free memberships to more than 40 cultural institutions, including MoMA, Lincoln Center, the New York Botanical Garden and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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