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City says 2 percent of IDNYC applicants rejected or stalled — including Metro reporter

Bess Adler/Metro

Thousands of New Yorkers stood in line to get one of the new municipal ID cards launched by the city on Jan. 12. By the end of February, 24,000 new photo ID cards identifying will either be in the mail or people’s hands.

But despite a two-and-a-half hour wait on the first day, I have yet to receive my IDNYC card.

More than a month after I sat in the city’s Manhattan Business Center with some 30 other patient New York City residents applying for the card, no city agency will confirm if my application has been outright rejected or stalled, or what I need to do to fix the holdup.

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Nor is it clear how many other New Yorkers may be in the same spot. No community organizations or elected officials involved with the card's launch told Metro they’ve heard of application problems.

If the 24,000 cards released by Mayor Bill de Blasio's office are accurate, as few as 480 IDNYC applications may have been either rejected or remain in limbo.

City officials would say only that the IDNYC program has a 98 percent success rate and had no exact numbers on many applications were rejected or why. Outlined procedures say applicants should mailed a letter within two weeks to let them know if their application’s been denied and why.

I never received a note.

After waiting a month, I called 311. The 10-minute phone call ended with the operator informing me my complaint would be forwarded to the Human Resources Administration, the city agency responsible for processing the applications.

One week later, no one from HRA has responded to my call.

The immediately popularity of the card caught the de Blasio administration off guard. After hours-long wait times across the city, the administration set contingency plan to take appointments through 311 and an online booking system that went crashed hours after its launch.

To be fair, my documentation may not have been sufficient. One of my tax returns showed a different apartment number after I’d moved within the same building. Still, a supervisor and the onsite clerk both sent my paperwork both okayed the application before scanning it and taking my picture.

Maibe Ponet, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, said those who think their applications were denied in error can apply for a secondary review.

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The city hopes to respond to requests for secondary reviews within 30 days of receiving the request, she added, and that individual cases may take longer to resolve.

"Since the IDNYC program is in its early phases, we are currently accommodating those whose applications could not be approved with the opportunity to re-apply without having to wait for a scheduled appointment," Ponet said.

The administration did not immediately explain how New Yorkers whose applications are rejected or stalled can apply again without making an appointment.

Using the IDNYC website, which has a drop-down option for a denied application and second submission, the earliest available appointment at the Manhattan Business Center was in mid August.

The HRA office on Water Street has appointments available in late March, the earliest available of all the locations. But without knowing what went wrong the first time, I'll end up in the same spot I am now.

So I'll keep waiting.

DID YOU GET YOUR IDNYC? ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR AN APPOINTMENT OR APPROVAL? Share your stories with Metro about your waiting, getting or maybe being rejected for one of New York City's new municipal ID cards in the comments or email chester.soria@metro.us.

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