All ID cards will be cancelled within one month of Royal Assent and the National Identity Register, the database which contains the biographic information and biometric fingerprint data of card holders, will be physically destroyed within two months.
Home Office Minister Damian Green said:
“The Identity Card Scheme represented the worst of government. It was intrusive, bullying, ineffective and expensive.
“That is why the first Home Office Bill of this Coalition Government has scrapped ID cards and the National Identity Register.
“The Government is committed to scaling back the power of the state and restoring civil liberties. This is just the first step in the process of restoring and maintaining our freedoms.”
The Identity Documents Bill invalidates the identity card, meaning that within one month, holders will no longer be able to use them to prove their identity or as a travel document in Europe. Following Royal Assent, a counter will be placed on the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) website counting down the time until cards become invalid.
The Identity Card Scheme and associated work around biometrics has already cost the taxpayer £292 million. It will stop planned future investment in the scheme of £835 million.
All existing cardholders will be notified in writing and the Identity and Passport Service will now inform international border agencies, travel operators and customers of the change in law.