Some big banks not accepting New York City municipal ID cards

Joe Torres Image
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Municipal ID issues
EMBED <>More Videos

Joe Torres reporting in Brownsville with the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- More than a half a million people signed up to get New York City's municipal ID cards, but it turns out there's a big problem.

Some major banks aren't accepting them, and it's a big blow to the de Blasio administration.

Eyewitness News heard complaints in Spanish in Harlem.

"El banco no lo aceptan," one resident said.

And then in English in Brownsville.

"It's misleading," one person said. "It's very misleading."

So many New Yorkers feel duped by the city after big banks like Chase, Bank of America and CitiBank do not accept the relatively new municipal ID cards.

City Hall often sold the year-old program by saying people could use the cards to open bank accounts.

"You're given this card thinking you can open up bank accounts and things like that, and you're not able to," NYCID holder Shayna Palmore said. "Very frustrating."

Mayor de Blasio was at a loss as to why that decision was made.

"I can say this about those banks, we're certainly going to talk to them and help them to understand," he said. "This ID card was created with the NYPD. It could not be more secure."

Secure or not, the banks said they accept the IDs as secondary forms of identification, but offered no explanation as to why they're unacceptable as primary forms.

"There are many banks that do accept it," de Blasio said. "And credit unions and lots of other organizations."

At least 680,000 have signed up for the municipal ID card, and while they do appreciate the card's other benefits, many say it was the banking benefit that meant the most to them.