Beginning in 2020, the list of 50+ cultural institutions offering free membership through the city’s IDNYC program will grow to include the Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, The Shed, and the Whitney Museum. Started in 2015 as a way to provide identification cards to those who may not otherwise have access, such as the homeless and undocumented immigrants, IDNYC now has more than 1.3 million cardholders (it’s the country’s largest municipal ID program) who have saved over $55 million on memberships, discounts, and other fees.
Since its inception nearly four years ago, IDNYC has seen more than 1.2 million New Yorkers enroll for the free card, making it the largest local identification program in the nation. And now, Mayor de Blasio has announced three updates that will even further expand the program’s reach–the minimum age has been lowered from 14 to 10, students living in local college housing can now apply, and technological updates allow the application system to pull from existing city agency records to streamline the process.
Three years ago, IDNYC‘s benefits included mostly free or discounted membership to museums and cultural institutions, but now that the ID card is entering its fourth year, it’s adding some more entertainment-based perks. A press release from the Mayor’s office announced that the 1.2 million cardholders (it’s the largest local identification program in the nation) will receive benefits from eight new partners in 2018, including Zipcar, Chelsea Piers Golf Club, Entertainment Cruises, and the SculptureCenter.
For the third straight year, IDNYC will remain free to all New Yorkers over the age of 14, despite concerns related to Donald Trump’s request for data from sanctuary cities (h/t DNAinfo). Currently, more than 900,000 people are cardholders, which makes them eligible for memberships and discounts at 38 cultural institutions, 10 of which are brand new this year and include the Museum of Arts and Design, Museum at Eldridge Street, Film Forum, St. George Theatre, and the Jacques Marchais Center for Tibetan Art. Other perks include a 15 percent discount for first-time Citi Bike members, a five percent discount during certain times at Food Bazaar supermarkets, and up to 25 percent off select events at the Barclay’s Center.
If you’re one of the 670,000 people who took the time to apply for a NY municipal ID last year, give yourself a pat on the back and rejoice, because your industrious spirit will be rewarded for yet another year. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced yesterday that card holders will continue to benefit from free access and discounts to 33 cultural institutions and a slew of New York services through 2016. On top of that, seven top tier names have joined the ID benefits roster, including The Guggenheim, the New Museum, the MoMA, the Metropolitan Opera, the Museum of Chinese in America, BRIC Arts Media and the Pregones Theater. Yay, free stuff!
Are you one of those New Yorkers who goes to the Met more than any other museum because it’s “pay what you wish”? Do you wait in lines wrapped around the block to get into museums’ free admission nights? Well, good news. You can now enjoy your favorite cultural institutions across all five boroughs without having to jump through hoops, thanks to the Mayor’s municipal ID initiative.
In addition to serving as a city identification card, IDNYC will offer a free one-year membership to 33 of the city’s most prominent museums and cultural centers; it will also serve as a cross-borough library card. New Yorkers can begin applying today, and enrollment will remain open until December 31, 2015.