En EspaƱol Know Your Rights
Source: DNAinfo
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Maybe Now You Can Get a Municipal ID After City Adds Staff to Shorten Wait

You may be able to get one of the city’s new municipal identification cards sooner than you thought.

The city has doubled its capacity to enroll New Yorkers in the IDNYC program by opening new enrollment sites and adding staff to existing sites to meet the crushing demand that led appointments to fill up months in advance, officials said.

Many residents who tried to sign up after the Jan. 12 launch of the highly anticipated program learned that they would have to wait until the summer or fall to get the IDs, even as the city put out ads boasting that the cards were available “today.”

The IDs provide proof of identification, give access to city services and free membership to museums around the city.

Dozens waited on line recently in the snow to make an appointment at Make the Road New York’s Roosevelt Avenue center — as only one worker made appointments inside.

Now, though, the city has opened two additional sites, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City and the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, and has added workers to other sites. Appointments are available as soon as this month at the new locations, according to the city’s online appointment database.

On Friday night, officials began calling up those who made later appointments to offer them the chance to apply for the cards sooner, according to a city spokeswoman.

The available appointments for the other enrollment centers are in flux. Last week, 311 operators said there were no appointments for the rest of 2015 at the registration sites in Flushing, Jamaica and Jackson Heights.

“I can’t book anything because it’s fully booked, it’s not giving me access to any further information,” an operator said when DNAinfo New York called to make an appointment.

But later that week, a couple of appointments at those centers for this spring popped up on the online system.

The city has hired additional workers — although officials declined to say how many — who will hopefully shorten the wait time for people trying to get the vital piece of identification.

The spokeswoman said they have expanded and added 70,000 appointments before June 30 and “dramatically” reduced wait times for appointments.

“As of Friday, there were appointments available as early as Monday, Feb. 9 in sites across the city,” she said.

“Additionally, the city moved up over 40,000 appointments that were scheduled after June 30 to as early as Feb. 11.”

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