THE National Identity Card scheme will be rolled out in Cheshire from January 4.

Anyone living or working in the county who holds a current or recently expired British passport, will be able to apply for the £30 card.

It can be used in place of a passport to travel throughout Europe and to prove identity or age for things like setting up a bank account or getting into a nightclub.

A chip on the card will hold personal information along with two images of your fingerprints and other technical information to make the chip secure.

Unlike a passport application which can be completed at home, applicants will have to travel to Manchester, and from February 2010 Liverpool, to have their fingertips scanned and an electronic signature taken.

The scheme was originally rolled out in just Greater Manchester but has now been extended to the whole of the north west. At this stage it is still only voluntary.

Home Office Minister responsible for identity cards, Meg Hillier said: “We have always said that after the initial rollout to residents of Greater Manchester, we would seek to expand the scheme across the North West as soon as possible.

“Identity cards are already proving themselves extremely useful in daily life, from opening a bank account to entering a nightclub, and for travel to Europe.”

Identity and Passport Service offices in Liverpool and Blackburn will be upgraded to allow identity card enrolment from February 2010.

Individuals can get more information or make an appointment for an identity card by calling 0300 330 0000.

Further information on the National Identity Service for individuals, can be found at, and for businesses at