HL Deb 03 December 1996 vol 576 c48WA
Lord Marlesford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which departments or agencies of government use a personal identification number to keep records on members of the public; and

What licences, permits or passports are issued to members of the public by government departments or agencies and which incorporate a personal identification number.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)

There is no generally recognised "personal identification number" used by government departments or agencies, although reference numbers unique to the individual are used in many instances for record keeping purposes. The most widely held existing reference numbers include the National Insurance number, the National Health Service number and the driver number (shown on the driving licence). Passports include a document serial number only.

We have not ruled out the possibility of introducing a securely allocated personal identification number in connection with our plans for a voluntary identity card. In addition, the Green Paper on the electronic delivery of Government services Government Direct (Cm 3438) seeks views on the possibility of individuals using a specific type of Personal Identification Number (PIN) as part of an "electronic signature".