Updated on December 14th at 4:00pm:
If like us, you've been dawdling on getting your NYC ID, it's time to make your plans real. Lest we forget, they're only guaranteed to be free until December 31st, though it's unclear how much they'll cost after that. More pertinently, that's the cutoff for free membership at cultural institutions around the city, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, BAM, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and most of the city's zoos. (The full list is here.)
And it's probably a good idea not to put this off until December 30th—to claim a free, one-year membership at most of these places, you'll not only need an ID dated before December 31st, 2015, but you'll likely need to show up in person to fill out the forms. (Policies vary from place to place.)
Brush up on our tips on applying —most important is that you make sure your paperwork is in order—and double check that you've got the right application materials; you can also find locations and book an appointment online here.
UPDATE: The mayor announced on December 14th that not only will the NYC ID continue to be free in 2016, but all the current benefits will extend through the next year, including free one-year membership opportunities at museums and other cultural institutions. Seven new cultural institutions will also be participating in 2016, including the Guggenheim, MoMA, the Metropolitan Opera, and the New Museum. Full details can be found here.