PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia municipal ID is now available for residents who’ve had trouble getting other kinds of government-issued identification.
“This was a big deal, this was a really big deal for me,” said Lloyd Bailey, who was one of the first people to get a Philadelphia ID card.
A native of Jamaica who came to the U.S. at the age of seven, he lost his path to citizenship when the Dream Act changed.
Bailey had been waiting for this moment since the mayor signed the bill creating the card last fall.
“I’ve never been able to open a bank account, I’ve never been able to enter a bar where I was asked to be carded, or buy alcohol or buy a cigarette and I’m 31-years-old,” he said.
Bailey got by on his high school and college IDs. Those, along with his birth certificate and his lease, gave him the four documents needed to get a city ID.
The card will allow him to enter buildings where an ID is required. He still won’t be able to open a bank account or fly – the card doesn’t meet all the federal requirements – but bars may accept it.
Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez says the card will open doors.
“We’re going to give you access to your government, access to your cultural institutions, access to your libraries, access to your school buildings,” she said.
She hopes every Philadelphian will get one since they offer benefits such as ticket discounts, and some local businesses offer discounts for card users.
Bailey just likes the official recognition.
“It makes me extremely proud to be a Philadelphian. I’ve only live here two years and it’s the first time I’ve felt recognized in the country I love,” he said.
The ID cards are available in City Hall room 167. Officials suggest you make an appointment online or by calling 311.
You’ll need three documents to prove your identity and one to prove your residency. Once they are verified, you will get your picture taken. The whole process should take 15 minutes.
The cards will cost $5, but the first 1,000 are free.