IDNYC is a new program sponsored by the city of New York to provide a new form of identification for all New York City residents. Using it will give you access to city services, allow you to enter public buildings, and enable you to open a checking account. You can also link it to your Brooklyn, New York, or Queens library account--the first time one card has ever been recognized by all 3 systems.
As an incentive for people to sign up, you will be able to apply for free memberships at museums, zoos, botanic gardens, and concert halls throughout the city. All you do is present your card at the box office of your desired institution by 12/31/15, and you receive a gratis one-year membership. Examples of membership options include, but are not limited to:
- Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo: Free general admission for one adult to the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo with discounts at select gift shops and restaurants. Invitations to Members' Evenings and free e-newsletters.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Unlimited free admission for 1 and 2 single-time-use guest passes. Admission for member plus 1 guest to all members-only summer events and 10% discount at Garden Shop and Cafe. Library borrowing privileges.
- Carnegie Hall: "Friends Membership" includes 4 complimentary rehearsal passes; early access to the best seats available; half-price ticket offers on select Carnegie Hall presentations; and invitations to cocktail parties, discussions, & member-appreciation events.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: Free admission for 1 to the Main Building and The Cloisters museum and gardens; members-only emails with advance notice of exhibitions, programs, events, classes, and festivals; special offers on select ticketed programs; discount on Audio Guide rentals in nine languages; and complimentary guided tours of the collection in 10 languages.
- MoMA PS1: Unlimited free admission; exhibition opening invitations; special offers for select ticketed events; conversations with MoMA PS1 curators and artists; private receptions at MoMA PS1; and a 10% discount at the M. Wells Dinette and the ARTBOOK @ MoMA PS1 Book Store.
As you can imagine, demand for IDNYC is pretty high. I signed up for an appointment in January, and had to wait until April to snag an appointment. My shiny new ID came in the mail just this week.
To get your IDNYC, check here that you possess the right qualifying documents, and schedule an appointment at one of the several appointment centers throughout the 5 boroughs. You might have to wait a while, but that's ok--you will be able to claim your free memberships through the end of the year and they will begin the day you claim them. Then you go in and go through a short and sweet interview (just like at the DMV), they take your picture (but oddly you can't smile with teeth), and you should receive your new ID within 2-3 weeks.
The IDNYC website has a thorough list of helpful FAQs that I'd highly recommend you check out if you have any specific questions. So what do you think, will you apply?