Wednesday’s hearing before the immigration committee of the City Council was the first legislative step in the city’s drive to introduce the card, which Mayor Bill de Blasio supports.
Supporters say the card will help transgender people because it will let them use the gender they identify as, even if they have not had reassignment surgery.
“The idea that New York City will allow me to decide that my true and proper gender identity will be displayed on this piece of identification is something I could not be more excited about,” said transgender activist Bryan Ellicott.
Other supporters say the city ID card will benefit immigrant New Yorkers without government-issued ID cards who often have difficulty picking their children up at school or using health services.
City officials hope to have the program in place by the end of the year.