NYC boosts number of appointment slots for residential ID card after surge in demand


New York City is releasing hundreds of additional appointments for residents wanting to sign up for a municipal ID card after months of complaints that slots were increasingly difficult to secure.

The Department of Social Services announced during a City Council budget hearing on Monday that 7,100 appointments will open up every Friday afternoon, up from the 6,800 the agency used to release. City officials are also looking to open a new IDNYC enrollment center in the Bronx, after Gothamist reported the city spent years consolidating sites, whittling them down to just 10 from as many as 29 in 2017.

Only one enrollment center remains in the Bronx, which had as many as 10 locations in 2017.

The 7,100 appointments released every week are for the following Monday through Friday. The city eliminated walk-in options in February to prevent people waiting outside in the cold for a slot and instead only allows New Yorkers to make appointments online or by calling 311.

“Generally there’s still appointments left,” DSS Commissioner Molly Wasow Park told the City Council. “Whether it’s a couple of dozen or a couple of hundred.”

Demand for the popular photo IDNYC card surged amid new arrivals who rely on the identification cards to show police or employers and enter their children’s school buildings. But nonprofit groups who help people sign up for the cards said the lack of appointments and fewer enrollment sites across the five boroughs were contributing to delays in getting the coveted cards, Gothamist reported in February.

The Adams administration said they’ve made the IDNYC program more efficient, distributing more cards and running fewer sites.

On Monday, members of the City Council also offered up their offices to host additional pop-up enrollment sites for the program.

“There is definitely capacity. We could expand capacity if there was political will to do so and meet the demand that exists,” Councilmember Lincoln Restler said.



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