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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-standards-for-government/exchange-of-contact-information
Use the RFC6350 vCard standard for exchanging contact information in government.
1. Summary of the standard’s use for government
vCard standard is a single, interoperable format that allows users to share information with many different types of devices and address book systems.
2. How this standard meets user needs
When users send contact and location information, they need it to work reliably and across different systems and devices.
Websites like GOV.UK publish contact and location information to make it easier for users to contact them or travel to their location. The vCard format makes it easier to share information across different systems, because it’s used by lots of organisations.
3. How to use the standard
The vCard format is text-based and supports cross-platform character encoding. You can include information fields like:
- a structured name, including title, first name, surname and middle names
- an organisation or company name
- a structured address, including street address, town or city, region, country and postcode
- one or more telephone numbers
- one or more email addresses
- a photo
- a geographical location, for example latitude and longitude
The format is extendable with other fields such as a Twitter URL. The format also supports URLs for persistent, resolvable identifiers for referencing other information.
You can convert other contact information formats to vCard format including:
- informal formats that only record line1, line2, line3 and a POSTCODE
- common formats like BS7666 postal addresses and h-card
You should be aware that including email addresses in contact and calendar files may result in office systems sending automatic emails. For example, when removing or cancelling appointments in a calendar application.