Too Many People Want IDNYC Cards So Everything Is Broken


Remember IDNYC, that municipal ID card that would not only serve as a form of identification for the otherwise undocumented, it would also serve as a magical one-year membership pass to 30-plus cultural institutions like BAM and the Metropolitan Museum of Art? If you guessed “it can’t be that easy,” well, kudos to you for knowing something about New York City bureaucracy, because actually obtaining an IDNYC has become something of a nightmare. Because of overwhelming demand for the card, lines at the centers for obtaining the cards stretched for hours on end. By Wednesday, the city had instituted a policy that required booking an appointment in advance, but even the website for that crashed. Can’t we have anything nice?

In case you need an actual lived example: A New York Daily News reporter attempted to book an appointment through the 311 line dedicated to IDNYC. She waited an hour, and then the earliest appointment was on February 19. Shades of, folks? Understandably, De Blasio is trying to avoid the comparison.

“We’re going to fix the website situation,” Mayor De Blasio told the News. “This was a high demand dynamic. That’s a good thing. But we’re going to fix the situation. That’s going to be back and running soon.”

Silver lining, I guess, is that people were really, really eager to pick up an IDNYC. As of noon yesterday, there were 4,854 enrollees already in the program, with another 20,025 New Yorkers scheduling appointments. Good luck getting through those.