This means that all ID cards will now be cancelled within one month and the National Identity Register, the database which contains information of card holders, will be destroyed within two months.
Home Office Minister Damian Green said: ‘The Identity Card Scheme represented the worst of government. It was intrusive, bullying, ineffective and expensive.
‘That is why the first Home Office Bill of this Coalition Government has scrapped ID cards and the National Identity Register.
‘The Government is committed to scaling back the power of the state and restoring civil liberties. This is just the first step in the process of restoring and maintaining our freedoms.’
Count down until the cards are invalid
Within one month, ID card holders will no longer be able to use them to prove their identity or as a travel document in Europe. A counter has been placed on the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) website counting down the seconds until cards become invalid.
The Identity Card Scheme and other biometrics work has already cost the taxpayer £292 million. The Act has saved £835 million in planned future investment.
IPS will now write to all existing cardholders and inform international border agencies, travel operators and customers of the change in law.
For more information about the decommissioning of the National Identity Scheme, see the IPS website.