Anyone with a home or work address in the Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cumbria can make an appointment to register for a National Identity Card beginning in January, it was announced yesterday.
The cards cost £30. The Government hopes they will deliver a number of benefits to residents, businesses and local authorities, including:
- A universal and simple proof of identity;
- Foreign nationals living, working and studying in the UK legally will be able to easily prove their identity, while those living here illegally will no longer be able to benefit from the privileges of British residence; &
- UK citizens can use the identity card, which fits in a wallet or purse, in place of a passport for travel throughout Europe.
The extension of the National Identity Card Service across the North West follows a successful launch of the service to those living and working in Greater Manchester.
Home Office Minister responsible for identity cards, Meg Hillier said:
"We have always said that after the initial rollout to residents of Greater Manchester, we would seek to expand the scheme across the North West as soon as possible.
"Today's exciting announcement is the next stage in offering voluntary identity cards to everyone living in the UK.
"Identity cards are already proving themselves extremely useful in daily life, from opening a bank account to entering a nightclub, and for travel to Europe."
Individuals can get more information about the National Identity Service by visiting DirectGov or calling 0300 330 0000. Businesses can also find useful information about the service on the Business Link website.