The City Council will introduce legislation today that would create an optional, municipal ID card for any city resident regardless of citizenship.
City Councilman Daniel Dromm, who will co-introduce the bill first proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio during his State of the City address, said many New Yorkers, especially low-income and immigrant adults, don't have the time or resources to get a driver's license. As a result, they lose access to necessary government and private services.
"Everybody needs identification everywhere you go in New York City," said Dromm (D-Jackson Heights). "Without ID, individuals are not allowed to enter schools to pick up their children. This legislation makes New York City a safer, more inclusive city."
The New York City Identity Card, containing the cardholder's photo, name, date of birth and address, would be accepted as a form of ID at city agencies, banks and other places that require proof of residency. Although the optional card wouldn't require an applicant to submit certain information, such as age, alienage or citizenship status, applicants would need at least two documents to register.
The forms include a U.S. or foreign passport, a Social Security card, a U.S. permanent resident card or a consular identification card. Applicants must also provide proof of residency such as a utility bill or tax refund.
The mayor's office will process the applications and screen each resident.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a Democrat, supports the bill, which appears to have enough votes to pass, according to sources.
"Having an official form of identification will bring dignity and peace of mind to many fellow residents currently living in the shadows," de Blasio said in a statement Wednesday..
But state Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson), an opponent, warned that the ID card would attract suspicious people to the city.
"This mayor is telling illegal aliens, criminals and terrorists alike, 'Break the law and get to New York as fast as you can,' " he said in a statement.
With Bianca Fortis