Page last updated at 07:17 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 08:17 UK

ID cards in other countries

As the move towards identity cards in the UK gathers pace, BBC News Online takes a look at how a selection of other countries deals with the issue.

IDENTITY CARDS AROUND THE WORLD

Country ID card status Functions Other information
France

French flag
Voluntary (police can request confirmation of ID but cannot demand the card) Used to prove ID to open bank accounts, in financial transactions and as a travel document within the EU Contains basic personal information, but no biometric data. Not used to get health or education services
Germany

German flag
Compulsory Police, local government and customs business Cards have PIN and other personal details
Italy

Italian flag
Compulsory (police can ask to see it) To open bank accounts and for financial transactions and travel within EU Contains basic personal information, but no biometric data. Not used to get health or education services
Japan

Japanese flag
Voluntary To access family records, open bank accounts, apply for passport and driving licence or as a form of ID itself Photo driving licences used for ID. Foreigners living in Japan need Alien Registration card for tax, health care and public services
United States

US flag
None
The Bush administration resisted calls for one in the wake of heightened security fears following the 11 September attacks
N/A Photo driving licences used as unofficial forms of ID and can be used to prove identity and age




Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific