New York City’s free identification card programme – IDNYC – will offer new benefits to the city’s 1.3 million cardholders starting next year.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says the municipal ID card enables New Yorkers – especially residents who lack state or federal identification – to access city services and cultural institutions through associated benefits.

De Blasio says IDNYC does not ask applicants for their immigration status and can be used to enter city government buildings, interact with city agencies and the NYPD, and be used at select banks to open an account.

Queens Daily Eagle reports that cultural institutions, such as the New York Botanical Garden, the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History, offer free year-long memberships to those with the card.

‘beneficial in connecting people to vital services’

New organisations within the programme include music hall Apollo Theatre, cultural centre The Shed and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

“Over the last five years, IDNYC has become the largest and most successful municipal ID programme in the USA because of this commitment to accessibility and inclusion, and this new expansion will ensure even more New Yorkers can participate,” De Blasio said.

Gregory Meeks, US Representative for New York’s 5th congressional district, has encouraged New Yorkers to obtain their IDNYC card.

“I’ve seen how beneficial IDNYC has been in bringing people out of the shadows and connecting them to vital services,” he said.

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