Many organisations produce ID cards to denote membership of that organisation such as library cards or company identity cards for employees. Traditionally ID cards may have only been a piece of cardboard with a few details upon it and possibly a photograph. Modern cards are often hi-tech smartcards made in plastic and capable of being swiped and read by a machine; these still only carry the typical information such as name and address but will in future also hold biometric data.
Where the identity card is issued by the State, it asserts a unique single civil identity for a person, thus defining that person's identity purely in relation to the State. In many cases documents issued by the State for other purposes such as Passport or Driving Licence are used as forms of identity however these are optional documents and so not every citizen will have one.
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