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OpinionColumnistsRachel Figueroa-Levin

In support of municipal IDs -- even for us lazy folks

New Yorkers who support the Council’s bill that

New Yorkers who support the Council’s bill that would create a city ID card rally outside City Hall. Photo Credit: City Councilman Carlos Menchaca's office

New York is the kind of city where personal ID is necessary. Many buildings require identification for admittance (especially after the 9/11 attacks). Many bars demand ID for entrance and/or drink ordering.

I don't have a driver's license -- or even a learner's permit. I've never taken a driving course or read a driver's manual or even seen the practice test. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever been behind the wheel. I don't have a nondriver ID, either. The idea of spending a day at the DMV to get it is less than appealing.

So I don't have perhaps the state's most widely used form of identification. Whenever I need to show ID to get into a building or order a drink at the bar, I pull out my passport. When people ask me why I carry around my passport instead of just getting a state ID, I tell them that I might need to flee the country at a moment's notice -- but really it's because I'm lazy and I don't want to deal with the DMV.

I like to think that I'm helping the environment and easing traffic flow by taking the train everywhere, and yet I'm punished with having to go to the DMV anyway for ID. No good deed goes unpunished.

That's why I support municipal IDs for New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposal would entitle city residents, regardless of legal status, to ID cards to get basic services, rent apartments and open bank accounts.

I back the measure not only for immigrants here illegally, and homeless teenagers, but also for lazy people who can't stand in a DMV line for a nondriver ID because they're too busy standing on an Apple Store line for the latest iThing.

In other words, me.

I'm sure there will be forms and lines involved for the municipal ID, but the only way to make it as bad as the nondriver's DMV would be to actually force New Yorkers go to the DMV to get it.

I love New York City and I would be thrilled to have an ID saying I'm from here. To anyone who thinks that there would be stigma about carrying one, I guarantee you there will be just as many people using it to prove they're old enough for bottomless mimosas at brunch.

Rachel Figueroa-Levin tweets as @Jewyorican and @ElBloombito.


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