United Kingdom Identity Cards & Passports
Last Updated 22nd February 2017 09:44:11 PM
NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD

World War I

The First World War was the catalyst for a shake-up. Nation states issued passports to distinguish their own citizens from foreign nationals. At the outbreak of war, they were printed on paper, with a gluedon photo of the holder and cost 6d but they changed again when the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 came into force in 1915.

World War II : British National Registration Identity Card

UK required their civilians over the age of 16 to carry an Identity Card from October 1939 until May, 1943. Cards were issued until 22 February 1952, when their use was abolished.

Unlike many other identity cards, this one did not have a picture of the individual nor did it provide date or place of birth or religion. Merely, the name and address of the individual was given.

Additional information had been collected for the National Register in 1939 prior to the issuance of the identity cards which contained the name of the individual, sex, date of birth, marital condition, occupation and whether the person is a member of the armed forces or reserves.
 
MP-CUID Description Remarks PHOTO
MP-161
2017-1
WW2 - National Registration Identity Card (With Endorsement) 1940 1. Endorsement
2. Photo
MP-50
2016-84
WW2 - National Registration Identity Card 1942 Without photo
MP-20
2016-72
Post WW2 - National Registration Identity Card 1948 Without photo
NOT WW2 - National Registration Identity Card
Temporary Identity Card
Without photo
MP-216
2016-147
WW2 - National Registration Identity Card (1949)
Under Sixteen Years
Without photo

Identity Card 2006 - 2010

Identity Cards Act 2006
Identity Documents Act 2010
 
Alan Johnson, then Home Secretary, reveals the design of the UK's National Identity Card in 2009 which were to be issued to members of the public.

Optional and issued beginning of 2009. Pilot scheme was rolled out by the then Labour government for £30.

BRITISH VISITOR'S PASSPORT

Introduction[1]

A new simplified type, the British Visitor's Passport, was introduced in 1961. It was a single-page cardboard document valid for one year obtainable for many years from Employment Exchanges, as agents of the Passport Office, and then from a Post Office. It was accepted for travel by most West European countries (excluding surface travel to West Berlin), but was dropped in 1995 since it did not identify the holder's nationality or meet new security standards.

As the card evolves, note how the status of it subtly changes. The first one is issued by the Foreign Office; this becomes the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the second but by the third it is simply 'Her Britannic Majesty's Government'. Also, the the first two can only be used by a 'British Subject, citizen of the UK and Colonies' whereas by the time that the third BVP was issued, the British Nationality Act 1981 had come into force, redefining British nationality and the passport became available to a broader spectrum of British nationals. This did not please the French who found it difficult to accept brown or black skinned holders of such documents.

Note also that the first BVP was issued by the Ministry of Labour local offices. The contract was transferred to the Post Office for the last two. The BVP was eventually phased out because the government were trying to float the Passport Office as a public agency but could find nobody suitably qualified who wanted to run it. The candidates pointed out that passport applicants, instead of paying £5.50 for a full British passport from them, could pop down to the Post Office and get a BVP for £1.50. Once the BVP had been withdrawn, quickly followed by the family passport, then every applicant had to hold an individual passport, guaranteeing a substantial rise in applications.

Variety

The first British Visitors Passport (BVP) had grey pages on the inside and beige outside.

The second version of the BVP, the inside changed to white

Third and last version had a white inside with small flecks of coloured thread distributed across it. These would glow under ultra violet light.

Cease Issue

It appears that the conditions, under which the British visitors' passport is accepted by certain Member States as a valid travel document for stays of less than three months, derive not from Community law but from bilateral agreements between the United Kingdom and those Member States.

At present, France and the United Kingdom have mutually agreed to discontinue, as from 1 January 1995, their bilateral agreement of 14 February 1961 on the basis of which the British visitors' passport was accepted as a valid travel document.[2]

INTERNATIONAL PASSPORT

1915 - 1920 Folded Passport with Hardcover

First British Booklet Passport

Folded into 8,...

1920 - 1926 United Kingdom of Britain & Ireland

Variety: Issued circa 1924 Wrong spelling in French -  Wrong: ET L'IRLANDE Correct: ET D'IRLANDE

A 32-page passport with a dark blue cover, commonly known as the old blue style, came into use in 1920 with the formation of the Passport Service following international agreement on a standard format for passports, and remained in use until replaced by the European Union-style machine-readable passport in late 1988. As with many documents worldwide and all booklet-format documents, details were handwritten into the passport and (as of 1955) included: number, holder's name, "accompanied by his wife" and her maiden name, "and" (number) "children", national status. For both bearer and wife: profession, place and date of birth, country of residence, height, eye and hair colour, special peculiarities, signature and photograph. Names, birth dates, and sexes of children, list of countries for which valid, issue place and date, expiry date, a page for renewals and, at the back, details of the amount of foreign exchange for travel expenses (a limited amount of sterling, typically £50 but increasing with inflation, could be taken out of the country). The bearer's sex was not explicitly stated, although the name was written in with title ("Mr John Smith"). Descriptive text was printed in both English and French (a practice which still continues), e.g., "Accompanied by his wife (Maiden name)/Accompagné de sa femme (Née)". Changed details were struck out and rewritten, with a rubber-stamped note confirming the change.

If details and photograph of a man's wife and details of children were entered (this was not compulsory), the passport could be used by the bearer, wife, and children under 16, if together; separate passports were required for the wife or children to travel independently. The passport was valid for five years, renewable for another five, after which it had to be replaced.

The passport had a printed list of countries for which it was valid, which was added to in handwriting as validity increased. A passport of 1955 was valid for the British Commonwealth, USA, and all countries in Europe "including the USSR, Turkey, Algeria, Azores, Canary Islands, Iceland, and Madeira"; during its period of validity restrictions eased and it was endorsed "and for all other foreign countries".

1927 United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

In 1927, the country name changed from "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland" to "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" (alternatively the name of the colony appeared here)

Variety 1950

In 1954, the name of the Secretary of State was removed.

Variety 1960

In 1968 the validity was extended from five years renewable up to ten, to ten years non-renewable.

Variety 1970

At the end of 1972, several modifications were made. A special blue watermarked paper was introduced to make alteration and forgery more difficult. The number of pages was reduced from 32 to 30, and the holder's eye colour and the maiden name of a married woman were removed.

In May 1973, an optional 94-page passport was made available which provided many more pages for immigration stampsand visas for frequent travellers.

In 1975, lamination over the bearer's photograph was introduced to make alteration harder. Overprinting of the laminate was added in 1981 to make removal easier to spot.

In 1979, UK exchange controls were abolished, and the foreign exchange page was removed.

Variety 1980

In 1982, the holder's occupation and country of residence were removed.

Variety 1988 European Community

Brussels forced Britain to change its passports when the popular 'Old Blue' hardback documents were abandoned in favour of a smaller, flimsier, standardised burgundy design.

The passport has 32 pages; a 48-page version is available with more space for stamps and visas. There are two lines of machine-readable text printed in a format agreed amongst members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and a section in which relevant terms ("surname", "date of issue", etc.) are translated into the official EU languages.

In July 1988, changes were made to ease the introduction of machine-readable passports later in the year. Joint and family passports were no longer issued and the descriptions of distinguishing features and height were removed. The old blue style started to be replaced by the burgundy passport from August, although some offices issued the remaining stock of blue passports until as late as 1993.

It was first issued on 15 August 1988 and no longer valid after 31 January 2008. No further EC passports were issued after January 1998. [3]

On biodata page, Consular issues may be typewritten, in which case the machine-readable zone will be empty.

Validity
Maximum Validity: 10   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 16   year(s)
Extension Possible: yes
Extension Period: 1   year(s)

Validity
Maximum Validity: 5   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 0   year(s)
Maximum Age for Validity: 15   year(s)

Variety 1997 European Union

1998: Digital facial image rather than a laminated photograph, and intaglio or raised printing on the inside of the covers. Children not included on new adult passports.

In 1998 the first digital image passport was introduced with photographs being replaced with images printed directly on the bio-data page which was moved from the cover to an inside page to reduce the ease of fraud. These documents were all issued with machine readable zones and had a hologram over the photograph, which was the first time that British passports had been protected by an optically variable safeguard.

The Welsh and Scottish Gaelic languages were included in all British passports for the first time in 2005, and appear on the titles page replacing the official languages of the EU, although the EU languages still appear faintly as part of the background design. Welsh and Scottish Gaelic precede the official EU languages in the translations section.

First issued on 4 December 1997 and not valid after 31 January 2008. [4]

Validity
Maximum Validity: 10   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 16   year(s)
Extension Possible: yes
Extension Period: 1   year(s)

Validity
Maximum Validity: 5   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 0   year(s)
Maximum Age for Validity: 15   year(s)

Variety: [5]
Issued between 05/10/1998 and 31/12/1998
Issued after 01/01/1999

As from 16.06.2014, the validity of this passport can be extended, using stamp GBR-D-02001. [6]

Variety 2006 First Generation Biometric ePassport

2006: Biometric passports (also called ePassports) comply with the US visa waiver programme.

The bio-data page is printed with a finely detailed background including a drawing of a red grouse (a native British bird), and the entire page is protected from modification by a laminate which incorporates a holographic image of the kingfisher; visa pages are numbered and printed with detailed backgrounds including drawings of other birds: a merlin, curlew, avocet, and red kite. An RFID chip and antenna are located on the obverse of the data page and hold the same visual information as is printed, including a digital copy of the photograph with biometric information for use with facial recognition systems.

First issued on 6 February 2006. [7]

Validity
Maximum Validity: 10   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 16   year(s)
Validity-Additional Information: since 10 September 2001, UK digital image passports have been valid for up to 10 years and 9 months

Validity
Maximum Validity: 5   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 0   year(s)
Maximum Age for Validity: 15   year(s)

Standard Passport: 32 pages
Business Passport: 48 pages

As from 16.06.2014, the validity of this passport can be extended, using stamp GBR-D-02001. [8]

Variety 2010 Second Generation Biometric ePassport : Scenic Britain

Released for public beginning 5 October 2010. [9]

The four scenes in the new passport are the White Cliffs of Dover, the Gower Peninsula, Ben Nevis and the Giant’s Causeway.

The scenes were chosen by IPS staff as part of a competition. They were asked to describe their favourite scenic view, what it meant to them and why they felt it would make a good addition to the UK passport.

There are more than 50 passport security enhancements, which include:
  • moving the biometric chip which stores the holder’s details to the inside of the passport cover where it is no longer visible.  This gives additional physical protection as well as making it much harder to replace the chip without damaging the passport cover 
  • a secondary image of the holder printed onto the observations page
  • designs that stretch across two pages
  • a new foil which includes several holographic techniques to protect personal details

IPS has taken over the responsibility for British passports previously handled by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) global passport processing centres. This means that all UK passports for issue to British citizens around the world are now printed and securely delivered from the UK.

Interior side of front cover showing Cotswold village of Bibury.

Pages of the passport will contain well-known UK scenes including the White Cliffs of Dover, the Gower Peninsula, Ben Nevis and the Giant's Causeway. There will also be new security features, namely moving the chip which stores the holder's details to the inside of the passport cover where it will no longer be visible (this gives additional physical protection as well as making it much harder to replace the chip without damage to the passport cover being spotted), a secondary image of the holder printed onto the observations page, new designs now stretching across two pages and a new transparent covering which includes several holograms to protect the holder's personal details.

Each visa page in the 32-page passport is unique, with the design spreading across two adjacent pages. A caption is provided on each page to describe the scene on the page. Within the 48-page passport, some designs are repeated.

The Scenic Britain passport is printed by De La Rue after winning a 10-year contract, which started producing the new passports in October 2010.

Standard Passport: 32 pages
Business Passport: 48 pages

Validity
Maximum Validity: 10   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 16   year(s)
Extension Possible: no
Validity-Additional Information: Since 10 September 2001, UK digital image passports have been valid for up to 10 years and 9 months

Validity
Maximum Validity: 5   year(s)
Minimum Age for Validity: 0   year(s)
Maximum Age for Validity: 15   year(s)
Extension Possible: no
Validity-Additional Information: Since 10 September 2001, UK digital image passports have been valid for up to 5 years and 9 months

As from 16.06.2014, the validity of this passport can be extended, using stamp GBR-D-02001. [8]

Variety 2015 Third Generation Biometric ePassport : Creative United Kingdom

HM Passport Office unveiled the design and theme of the new passport is 'Creative United Kingdom' at Shakespeare's Globe, London on the 3 November. The design features British cultural icons such as William Shakespeare, John Harrison, John Constable, Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. Iconic British innovations such as the Penny Black and the London Underground. UK landmark structures like the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Edinburgh Castle, The Pierhead Building in Cardiff, Titanic Belfast and the Royal Observatory Greenwich. As part of the Press release the HM Passport Office said the new passport is the most secure in the world. The passport is going to be released in December 2015. De La Ruehas got a 10-year contract with HM Passport Office designing and producing the British Passports starting in 2010 as well as the new 'Creative UK' passport in 2015.
 


DOCUMENTING VERSION & VARIETIES

British issued passport for UK-proper without including states or realms and only cover booklet-type issued since 1915. Documentation will include background, history, varieties and physical. Varieties is described as official differences noted from observations that differ from previous issue in a particular group.

Variety and differences: coat of arms on cover, request interior page, page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, control exchange and notice.

Suggestion to define these group: British Visitor's Passport (BVP), Ordinary Passport (PASS) & NIC

And documentation identification as: Format, Group, Year-group (introduction year for new/changes), Variety - Short Description.
BVP for example may need script as it may have sub-version.

Examples: 
BVP, 1961 Version 1
BVP, 19xx Version 2
BVP, 19xx Version 3
PASS, 1970, Old-Blue, b - Watermarked Paper
PASS, 1988, Burgundy EC
PASS, 1998, Burgundy EU, a - Differences in Watermark
PASS, 1999, Burgundy EU, b - Differences in Watermark
PASS, 2006, Burgundy EU - First version e-Passport

 

Footnotes

  1. ^ Information for Introduction and Variety were sourced from Martin Lloyd, the author of The Passport : The History of Man's Most Travelled Document.
  2. ^ Parliamentary questions, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getAllAnswers.do?reference=E-1994-2449&language=EN
  3. ^ http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/2607/index.html
  4. ^ http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/2609/index.html
  5. ^ Security Feature: UV feature, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/3708/index.html
  6. ^ http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/3708/index.html
  7. ^ Document: GBR-AO-02004, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/6207/index.html
  8. a, b Document: GBR-AO-02001, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/1611/index.html
  9. ^ Document: GBR-AO-04001, http://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/8365/index.html