Chicago CityKey

The Office of the City Clerk is launching a new, and exciting, program for all of Chicago’s residents – the Chicago CityKey. The Chicago CityKey is an optional, valid, government-issued ID card offered to all Chicago residents that will unlock many of the great things our City has to offer. For more detailed information, view the City of Chicago ID Administrative Rules

In 2015, a task force was launched to bring together City officials and community groups to develop a program that looked at the barriers that many Chicagoans faced when trying to obtain government-issued ID. In October 2016, the Chicago City Council allocated $1 million to create a Chicago Municipal ID, a government-issued ID for City residents, and in April 2017, the City Council overwhelmingly passed an ordinance (O2017-1950) to give authority to the Office of the City Clerk to administer and implement the program, now known as the Chicago CityKey Program.  

While originally created to reduce barriers to those who have difficulty accessing government-issued identification, the Program’s goals have since grown to include discounts and other benefits for all of Chicago’s 2.7 million residents. This means that not only will the Chicago CityKey give Chicagoans the dignity and peace of mind that comes along with having a government-issued ID but it will also have the ability to serve as your key to Chicago: serving as your library card, transit card and benefits card for cultural institutions, sports teams and local businesses. 

Every Chicagoan wants to unlock the potential of themselves and their City. The Chicago CityKey is about connecting all Chicagoans physically and figuratively to our City and each other, whether it’s unlocking new cultural opportunities or the key to getting a job. It is the key, the connection and the catalyst that unlocks the potential of our great City and all those that call it home.

If you have any questions, please send your name, email address and message to citykey@cityofchicago.org. You can also follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the CityKey?
Originally called the Municipal ID card, the CityKey is an optional, valid, government-issued photo identification card for all Chicago residents regardless of a resident’s housing status, criminal record, immigration status or gender identity.
 
The CityKey will serve as a three-in-one card that will not only be a valid, government-issued ID card, but also serve as your library and transit cards. Additional benefits with partnering cultural institutions, local business and sports teams will be announced over the next several months.  
 
Who can apply for a CityKey?
The CityKey is available for all Chicago residents who meet identity and residency requirements as outlined in the CityKey Administrative Rules. The card is available for Chicagoans regardless of age. For more information on requirements, click here. 
 
Who will accept the CityKey?
All City of Chicago departments will accept the CityKey as proof of identification. We are in the process of identifying additional potential institutions that will accept the card and will share that list in the coming weeks.
 
Why should I get a CityKey?
No one is required to obtain a CityKey – it is an optional ID card offered to all Chicago residents. In addition to being an ID card that will be accepted by City departments, the CityKey is also a “3-in-1 card: a valid, government-issued ID, a library card, and transit card. We are also working to provide additional benefits to further enhance the CityKey. If you have ideas on what you would like to see as a part of the Program, please contact us at citykey@cityofchicago.org.
 
When will I be able to get a CityKey?
We are currently in the process of ‘piloting’ the CityKey. Pilot participants, community partners who have been helping us to create the Program over the past year and a half, will assist in testing the CityKey technology prior to the official launch. We want to make sure that this card is useful for all Chicagoans, and we also want to protect all of our communities’ private and confidential information. Therefore, we expect to a have a full launch of the Program in early Spring, 2018.
 
What documents do I need to apply for a CityKey?
To be eligible for CityKey, applicants must show proof of identity and residency within the City of Chicago. Additional types of documents are accepted.
 
When does my CityKey expire?
For cardholders 13 and under, the card is valid for two years. For cardholders between 14 and 64, the card is valid for five years, and for those 65 and older the card never expires.
 
Where can I get a CityKey?
The goal of the Program is to make the CityKey accessible to all of our City’s residents across all 77 communities. It is our intention to house a permanent on-site printer at City Hall, and we hope to launch pop-up enrollment sites where we can meet residents where they already are and print cards at community events, farmers’ markets, and Aldermanic offices. Keep an eye out for more information on when we will be in your neighborhood.
 
What type of benefits will be associated with the CityKey?
We are currently working with cultural institutions, sports teams, pharmacies, local chambers of commerce and community organizations to explore potential discounts and other benefits that we can provide to all cardholders. Want to partner with us or have suggestions for potential partners? Please contact us at citykey@cityofchicago.org.
 
What if I own a business, and want to support the Program?
We aim to partner with and support small businesses across the City of Chicago. You can complete a Business Partnership Form here, and a member of our team will contact you. 
 
How can I be sure that my information will be safe?
Protecting our residents’ security is our number one priority. Drawing upon the best practices of other cities that have implemented Municipal ID programs, Chicago will establish a Program that captures minimal information from applicants which includes only a unique identifier, the date of issuance and the expiration date. The CityKey will be a secure card and the Office of the City Clerk will take every precaution it can to protect each applicant's data to the maximum extent permitted by law.
 
How much does a CityKey cost?
We have established a small fee of $5 for minors (under 18) and $10 for adults ages 18-64. The ID cards will be free of cost to Seniors age 65 and older.

But we do not want price to be a barrier for Program participation. Fee waivers will be available to low-income residents, individuals experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors, members of the re-entry community, Veterans, and One Summer Chicago participants (with required supporting documentation as outlined in the CityKey Administrative Rules).

Chicago residents are also able to donate either $5 or $10 to offset the cost for residents who cannot pay the fee.

I already have a Illinois State ID Card/Driver’s License, why do I need a CityKey?
The CityKey is an optional ID card, but we want all Chicago residents to consider getting one! We’ve worked with community partners, cultural institutions, and sports teams, to make sure that cardholders have access, and discounts, to programs and events. We will be sharing more information on our partners in the coming months.
 
What other cities have done this?
Many major cities have a Municipal ID program, such as San Francisco, New York, Detroit, and Milwaukee to name a few. Other cities, like Madison, are exploring their own Municipal ID program.
 
 

Is your business interested in working with the Chicago CityKey Program?

The Office of the City Clerk hopes to work with businesses and cultural institutions throughout the City to offer discounts and/or benefits to City of Chicago CityKey cardholders.

If your business is interested in working with us, fill out the form below or download the Business Partnership Form and email it to cityclerk@cityofchicago.org.

(*) Denotes a required field.