Identity document (ID) is a document which allows you to prove that you are really you. It could be your identity card, driver’s license, passport, etc. - any document that proves your real identity. An identity document must show your personal data which is usually your name and surname, age, photograph, date of birth and a unique document number. Some countries issue official identity cards in order to identify people, other countries rely on using other documents instead.
What documents can serve as identity documents?
The particular documents that are considered as identity documents as well as how these documents are called differ from country to country. One document is internationally recognized as identity document - passport.
- passport - recognized worldwide
- ID, ID card, identity card, IC, Citizen Card - not always recognized
- driver’s license
- insurance card
- payment card - in some cases, the payment card can be recognized as an identity document (e.g. by rental car companies) although it doesn’t show the photo
- business ID or access badge containing photo or other biometric data (Photo ID)
What makes the identity document so important and why should I protect it?
An identity document is essential to prove your identity while, for example, opening a bank account, making payments, authenticating signatures on important contracts or while entering protected premises (this is what company’s access badges can be used for). Identity document misuse or forgery can cause a big damage. Therefore, identity documents as such (the combination of data they contain) are considered sensitive data, especially the ones with biometric data. If somebody wanted to forge your identity document, he or she would have to know your name, surname and residence and to have your photo.