Last year I went and got a New York City ID card, commonly referred to as IDNYC, the free identification card for all New York City residents. I initially signed up for the ID card to show solidarity with the many undocumented immigrants living in NYC who use this card as a form of identification. When DJT was elected, many feared that he would begin to hunt undocumented immigrants in NYC and around the country. Therefore, applying for the identification card was an easy way to insert myself into the system in case ICE or other aggressive immigration officials attempted to use the names and information on the scrolls to aggressively deport our fellow New Yorkers. As someone with a driver’s license and a university identification card, I did not look at all of the additional benefits of the IDNYC until a colleague recently mentioned all of the benefits the card provides.
I did not realize that IDNYC cardholders are eligible for free one-year memberships at more than 35 participating institutions in 2017. Some of the benefits include reduced fares to many different museums and cultural institutions, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Carnegie Hall, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York City Ballet, Studio Museum in Harlem and The Public Theater, to name just a few. IDNYC also provides discounts to sporting events, movie tickets, Broadway shows and even theme parks. I was surprised to learn that IDNYC cardholders receive up to 25 percent off tickets to select events at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, including boxing events, college basketball, various family shows and even Brooklyn Nets and New York Islanders games.
You can even save 15 percent on your annual Citi Bike membership during your first year as a new Citi Bike member, plus a 10 percent discount off annual and six-month NYC Parks Recreation Center memberships for adults age 25-61, available at any of NYC Parks’ 35 neighborhood recreation centers.
One of the most important and unique features of the IDNYC is the veteran designation on the front of the card. For veterans who receive this special designation, they will be able to receive additional benefits as individuals who have served our nation. This designation on their IDNYC
connects veterans to the services and discounts they deserve.
For those interested in applying, go to the following website to find the location nearest to you: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/idnyc/index.page. There are certain documents you will need to produce when applying, so check out the website to make sure your various forms of identification are correct. This identification card is an invaluable resource for all New Yorkers, and I highly suggest spending the time to get IDNYC; it will save you money and hopefully introduce you to new facets of the city.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream” and the host of The Aftermath on Ozy.com. You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.