A national identity card is a portable document; usually a plastic card with the owner’s personal information and photo printed onto it, which can be used to confirm the owner details. In some countries the National Identity Cards have digital information embedded onto the card and make use of biometric techniques such as iris or fingerprint recognition – this makes them incredibly difficult to forge.
In certain countries it is now the law to carry your identity card; those found not carrying the card could find themselves hit with a heavy fine. Since 9/11 many governments have brought in some kind of National Identity Scheme to ‘help with the fight against terrorism’ – though there has been much speculation of how effective ID cards would be for this purpose and the cost implicating such a scheme has been under heavy scrutiny.
This is an example of what a National Identity Card could look like: