UK Government

Home Office: Young people in London to get National Identity Cards

Press Release   •   Jan 25, 2010 11:07 GMT

Young people aged 16 to 24 who live in London will be able to apply for a National Identity Card from 8 February, it was announced today.

The rollout to young people in the capital follows the successful uptake of cards in Greater Manchester and the North West of England.

The £30 identity card provides a secure and convenient way for people to prove their identity whether they are travelling in Europe - the cards can also be used in place of a passport for travel throughout Europe - or buying age-restricted goods.

Young people across the capital buying alcohol, computer games and DVDs, going to the cinema or to a club, know how important it is to have a recognised proof of identity which is easy to carry.

Research by the Identity and Passport Service shows that over half of lost and stolen passports belong to people under 30, and a tenth of those are lost by people using them as ID on a night out. As an ID card fits snugly into a wallet, it should help avoid the card becoming lost.

Also from next month until 30 June, people across the UK who have registered an interest through the Directgov website will be able to apply for a card. More than 16,000 people have already registered an interest in getting an identity card in this way.

Meg Hillier, the Home Office Minister responsible for identity cards said:

“The National Identity Card will prove an extremely useful tool for young people in London, whether they are opening a bank account, buying age-restricted goods such as computer games or DVDs, entering a nightclub or travelling to Europe.

“These benefits are already being enjoyed by members of the public in Greater Manchester and the North West of England and with tough new legislation being put in place clamping down on underage drinking, it will be more important than ever for young people to have access to a universally accepted proof of age.”

Richard Hurley, Communications Manager at CIFAS the UK's Fraud Prevention Service said:

“When the National Identity Card is introduced, it will be another document to help establish an individual’s identity, alongside a passport, driving licence, etc.  As such, it will potentially be another ‘tool in the toolbox’ in the fight to prevent fraud.

“In time, when everyone has a National Identity Card, it may well become the ‘Gold Standard’ for establishing an individual’s identity.  It may eventually replace all other documents for this purpose, and be relied upon as the sole proof of identity, but this will depend on the level of public and corporate confidence in the National Identity Card.”

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

“Pubs work very hard to prevent underage sales, but in a busy pub environment, it can sometimes be a challenge.

“Identity cards will be another useful tool for London licensees to help avoid such sales, while at the same time making sure that legal customers are welcomed.”

Suleman Khonat, President of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents, said:

"Independent newsagents and convenience store owners are pleased that the introduction of national identity cards is to be rolled out to London.

“Any initiative that provides a means by which members of the public can confirm their identity and age and which helps to prevent sales of age-restricted goods such as tobacco and alcohol to youngsters is to be welcomed."

Individuals can get more information or make an appointment for an identity card by calling 0300 330 0000.

Further information on the National Identity Service can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/idsmart, and for businesses at www.businesslink.gov.uk/idsmart.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Identity Minister Meg Hillier today signed a commencement order allowing anyone aged 16 to 24 who lives in London, and holds a current or recently expired British passport, to apply for a National Identity Card from 8 February 2010. The order also extends eligibility to include people who register an interest in obtaining the card through the Directgov website until 30 June.

Individuals can get more information or make an appointment for an identity card by calling 0300 330 0000.

Further information on the National Identity Service for individuals can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/idsmart, and for businesses at www.businesslink.gov.uk/idsmart.

4   The Early Interest Website was launched on the 6 May 2009 by the Home Secretary, and allows people to register their interest in identity cards and the National Identity Service (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Identitycards/DG_174257). It provides information to people who register about the development and introduction of identity cards.  It also offers the opportunity for people to sign up for regular e-mail updates about the development of the service.

5. More than 16,000 people have already registered their interest online at DirectGov.

6.  For more information call the Home Office press office on 020 7035 3851 or 020 7035 3839.

Contacts

NDS Enquiries
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department
ndsenquiries@coi.gsi.gov.uk