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Identity Cards: Passports

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy not to combine the identity card and biometric passport schemes. (318773)

The Government's intention is to offer British citizens aged 16 and over the choice of being issued with a passport or an identity card or both documents and for applicants' identity details, including facial image and fingerprint biometrics, to be held on the same National Identity Register. As the Government are to introduce fingerprint biometric passports and essentially the same information will be recorded for the issue of a passport or identity card, it will be far more cost effective and secure to introduce a single application process and to hold the identity information of people issued with passports and identity cards on a single register rather than duplicating that information on separate but almost identical databases.