What were identity cards?
Identity cards (or National Registration Cards) were introduced by the government during World War II. Written on them was the owner’s name, date of birth, address and any changes of address.
Why were they important?
Identity cards had a number of different uses. For example, the government could use them to check which men were old enough to go to war and fight for their country. If a family was separated following a bombing or evacuation the address details listed on the card could help to reunite them. The identity cards also had to be presented to the shopkeeper alongside the owner’s ration book, so that he could see the right person was getting the food.
Did everyone have to have one?
Both adults and children were given identity cards. They were all brown coloured until 1943 when adults were supplied with blue cards.
When did they stop being used?
In 1952 the identity card scheme was abolished.