Home Secretary Alan Johnson has unveiled the final design of the controversial national identity card.
The card will be offered to members of the public in the Greater Manchester area from the end of this year.
Ministers plan to launch the £30 biometric ID Card nationwide in 2011 or 2012 – but it will not be compulsory.
The card is very similar in look to a UK driving licence but holds more data, including two fingerprints and a photograph encoded on a chip.
This chip and its unique number in turn links the card to a national identity register which, under current legislation, could hold more information about the identity of the individual.
Read more in BBC News.
Photo: Press Association.