Chicago's Municipal ID Program

In October of 2016, the Mayor’s Office and the Office of the City Clerk announced the first phase of a far-reaching Municipal ID program, which would be used to connect Chicago residents with City services and programs. Chicago’s Municipal ID program will benefit many residents, including those communities that often have difficulties obtaining other government-issued ID, such as the homeless, young people, seniors, undocumented immigrants and the re-entry community.

Major cities across the country have implemented Municipal ID programs, including New York City, Detroit and San Francisco. As the Chicago Municipal ID program is designed and implemented, the City will continue to review best practices and determine specific features of the City of Chicago ID. Based on examples from the above-mentioned cities, potential areas for opportunity include:

  • Coordinating City Services. Integrating technology so the ID could be used as a library card.
  • Improving Financial Inclusion for the Unbanked. Partnering with community banks and credit unions to enable residents to participate in the economy and open bank accounts.
  • Providing Discounts. Linking ID cards to discounts and passes for recreation and entertainment, sports games, cultural institutions, and goods at partnering businesses.
  • Increasing Access to Health Services. Enabling residents to use the ID to access health services at hospitals and clinics, and to pick up prescription drugs at local pharmacies.

Chicago is stronger when all communities are participating. The Chicago Municipal ID program aims to reduce barriers, increase access to opportunities, and empower residents to interact with the economic, social, and cultural life of Chicago.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Chicago Municipal ID Program

The Municipal ID Ordinance

The Municipal ID Ordinance was introduced at City Council on March 29, 2017 and passed by a 44-4 vote on April 19, 2017. The Ordinance implements recommendations from Chicago residents, community organizations, and the City’s Municipal ID Working Group, which was launched in July 2015. The Ordinance:

  • Provides the City Clerk with the authority to administer the Municipal ID program.
  • Defines the “City of Chicago ID” as a valid, government issued ID that displays information which includes the applicant’s name, photograph, date of birth, and an expiration date.
  • Requires all City departments to accept the City of Chicago ID as proof of identity and residency.
  • Ensures that the City will keep all information presented by applicants confidential to the maximum extent permitted by law.
  • Requires that the Clerk’s Office review, but not collect, copies of documents provided by an applicant as proof of identity or residency, and the City Clerk will not maintain record of an applicant’s address or phone number.
  • Provides applicants with the option to display the cardholder’s self-attested gender.
  • Requires the Clerk’s office to develop options for survivors of domestic violence to designate an alternative address, and homeless individuals to obtain an ID without a fixed address.
  • Authorizes the City Clerk to enter into intergovernmental agreements with other governmental bodies to increase the available services and benefits associated with the City of Chicago ID.

For updates and news on the Chicago Municipal ID program, visit or follow us on social media @ChiCityClerk, @ChicagosMayor, and @ChiNewAmericans.

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