Cancellation of UK Identity cards

The UK National Identity Card and the Identification Card for EEA nationals ceased to be valid legal documents on 21 January 2011.

The Government began the process of scrapping identity cards by introducing the Identity Documents Bill to Parliament on 26 May 2010. The Bill made provision for the cancellation of the UK National Identity Card, the Identification Card for EEA nationals and the destruction of the National Identity Register. This Bill has completed the parliamentary process and the Identity Documents Act 2010 received Royal Assent on 21 December 2010.

In line with the terms of the Act identity cards ceased to be valid legal documents for the purposes of confirming identity, age or for travel in Europe on 21 January 2011.

Under the terms of the Act the National Identity Register will be destroyed within two months of the Act coming in to force. This means all personal information supplied during process of applying for an identity card, including photographs and fingerprints, will be destroyed by 21 February 2011.

Refunds will not be provided and identity card holders are not required to return the card to IPS. As the card will cease to be a legal document, if you have an identity card you should consider securely destroying it. If you choose to retain your identity card, you should ensure that it is kept in a safe and secure place.

The statutory post of Identity Commissioner, set up under the Identity Cards Act 2006 to provide independent oversight of the National Identity Service, is also terminated under the terms of the Act.

We have written to all existing cardholders at their registered address to inform them of the position.

If you are currently travelling overseas using an identity card and don’t have a valid British passport, you will need to make arrangements to obtain a passport to continue your travel. You can either renew your last passport or if you are overseas and need to travel quickly you can apply for an emergency travel document at your local British Embassy/High Commission or Consular Office. Further advice is provided on The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.

Cancellation of identity cards: FAQs.