National Identity Register

The National Identity Register (NIR) is a giant database that will be used to hold information about people in the UK, primarily in relation to Identity Cards.

The Identity Cards Act 2006 specifies categories of information that the NIR can hold on each person and includes:

  • up to 10 fingerprints
  • digitised facial scan
  • iris scan
  • current and past UK and overseas places of residence of all residents of the UK throughout their lives
  • indexes to other Government databases - which would allow them to be connected

Access to the Database

In response to a written question on ID cards, Joan Ryan MP (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office) stated that:

Only organisations accredited by the Identity and Passport Service will be provided with the necessary digital certificates to enable their [card] readers to verify identity against information held on the National Identity Register. Such digital certificates allow for revocation of such services should the reader be stolen or the service misused.

See Also