The design of the ID cards that British citizens will carry has been unveiled today.
Each card will have a photograph of a face and will contain the name, date of birth and signature of the holder.
The ID card was unveiled by home secretary Alan Johnson today in Manchester and London.
It will hold similar information to that currently contained in the UK passport but will also a feature biometrics, with a photograph and fingerprints stored on a secure electronic chip.
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Alan Johnson said, "Given the growing problem of identity fraud and the inconvenience of having to carry passports, coupled with gas bills or six months' worth of bank statements to prove identity, I believe the ID card will be welcomed as an important addition to the many plastic cards that most people already carry.
He added that its use for travel in Europe is also an advantage.