Brooklyn / New York City

What is the id NYC?

On any given day, the Central Brooklyn Public Library is a magnet for nannies and babies looking for a warm place to relax and park their strollers in the way or all the work-at-homers needing a change of scenery before they go mad staring at the peeling paint on their walls, and as a result, I’m usually left wandering from floor to floor before I can even find an open seat to do my work or outlet to charge my quickly dying laptop.

Nevertheless, despite these minor shortcomings, I’m always eternally grateful for the BPL for its free wifi, variety of books – both new and old – and especially for the programs and services offered to the community, with the newest being an Enrollment Center for the newly issued IDNYC.

I arrived to the library around noon and the line wrapped around the entire ground floor lobby with people of all ages and races eagerly waiting to sign up for a card of their own. My curiosity peaked and I looked for an application to see what the requirements were for signing up, but all that was left were forms written in Spanish or Chinese and I even heard some people being turned away because the Enrollment Center had reach their max number of applicants for the day.

According to its website, the IDNYC is a free form of identification (as long as you sign up before December 31, 2015) that “benefits every city resident, including the most vulnerable communities—the homeless, youth, the elderly, undocumented immigrants, the formerly incarcerated and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID” and is valid for five years after the date the application is approved.

In addition, this ID offers free one-year memberships at 33 of the city’s leading cultural institutions, like museums, botanic gardens, and zoos as well as discounts on movie tickets, prescription drugs, Broadway shows, fitness and health centers, theme parks, and supermarkets. More importantly, those who once needed a government-issued form of identification in order to open bank accounts or enter federal buildings or schools now have the opportunity to do so and so much more.

Click for an interactive mapAny city resident age 14 and older is allowed to sign up and so far there are a total of 12 Enrollment Centers within each of the 5 boroughs and even an IDNYC Pop-Up Enrollment Center that travels to different neighborhoods across the city.

Of course proof of identity and NYC residency are required in order to sign up, and everything from Passports and Driver’s Licenses to Bills and Property Leases are eligible for use.

This is just the beginning of big changes to come and it definitely seems to be heading in the right direction, but only time will tell. Here are the locations and hours of the IDNYC Enrollment Centers here in Brooklyn:

  • Brooklyn Business Center – DOF
    210 Joralemon Street, 1st Floor
    Brooklyn, NY 11201
    (at Joralemon St and Court St)
    Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri: 8:30am – 4:30pm
  • Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch – BPL
    10 Grand Army Plaza
    Brooklyn, NY 11238
    (at Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Ave)
    Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu: 9:00am – 9:00pm
    Fri, Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm
    Sun: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Sunset Park Recreation Center – DPR
    7th Avenue at 43rd Street
    Brooklyn, NY 11232
    Opening Spring 2015
    Hours To Be Announced

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