Fun fact: Cities have “citizenships”

This is the second post in the Fun fact miniseries: Details I’ve noticed and small things I’ve learned during my time in DC

As a DC resident (both US citizens and non-citizens), you can apply for a DC ID card. The ID card can be used to prove your identity if you don’t have a driver’s license. The DC ID card can be issued both as a federal-level ID, and as an ID valid in the District for them who don’t have a Social Security Number.

It’s a little bit like all the people living in Helsinki would have a separate ID card issued by the city of Helsinki, proving that they live there.

The ID card shows your name, your address, your birth date, your height, weight, sex and the color of your eyes, and there’s a picture of course. That’s quite a lot of personal information.

So why do I write about the ID cards?

Because without the ID, I can’t use the public pools.

This is apparently because without the ID, I can’t prove I have paid taxes to the District, and therefore I am not eligible to use the services the District provides for its residents. As a DC resident with the ID you can use the pools (and other facilities of the Parks & Recreation department) for free, but at the same time, it’s not possible for non-residents to pay to get in either.

This feels like a quite excluding system compared to Finland, where I can live in one town and go to the neighboring town for a swim, and just pay a small fee – which I also would pay if I would go swimming in my own hometown.

So, my point? I can’t go swimming in this city, and I missed the outdoor pool season. Yes I know, poor me. 😀


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