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 guard the cards and personal information from fraud. The municipal ID will provide a legal proof of identity and help to access city services but 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.
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 Solutions Inc. of Iselin, New Jersey, and MorphoTrust USA of Billerica, Massachusetts -- won bids to develop a card enrollment program for $3 million. The city has also contracted with 3M, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, to print the IDs on polycarbonate card stock with an embedded hologram and engraved city seal.
The mayor's office did not disclose the value of the three firms' contracts but said the IDNYC program is projected to cost $8.4 million in its first year and $5.6 million each subsequent year.
An estimated 500,000 immigrants who are undocumented live in New York City.