The measure was signed Thursday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. During a ceremony at the Brooklyn Public Library, the mayor said the new ID will help not only the undocumented but the many New Yorkers who do not have driver's licenses.
"There's an advertisement we've seen many times, all of us, and the tag line is, 'What's in your wallet?' For so many New Yorkers, proper ID is not in their wallet and that means a lot for their day to day lives," de Blasio said.
Juan Carlos Gomez, an immigrant from Colombia, was at the ceremony. He told the New York Times he has trouble renting apartments because of his lack of ID and was unable to fill a prescription for allergy medication because the pharmacist wanted proof of ID.
"It's simple things like that," he said. "You have to be in the shadows because of this situation."
The law calls for a fraud-resistant design, something the city is working on. The New York Police Department refused to back the measure unless card applicants' personal information is stored for up to two years, although it will only be released in response to a court order or subpoena.
"We're going to keep tabs on every single access point from NYPD so we can observe if there are any abuses," said Carlos Menchaca, a city councilman who co-sponsored the bill.