The third reading of the bill in the Commons was approved on 11 February 2005 by 224 votes to 64; a majority of 160.Although being in favour in principle, the Conservatives officially abstained, but 11 of their MPs joined 19 Labour MPs in voting against the Government.It was expected that this would happen soon after the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), which was formerly the UK Passport Service, started interviewing passport applicants to verify their identity.

The Bill then passed to the House of Lords, but there was insufficient time to debate the matter, and Labour were unable to do a deal with the Conservatives in the short time available in the days before Parliament was dissolved on 11 April, following the announcement of the 2005 general election.

Labour's manifesto for the 2005 election stated that, if returned to power, they would "introduce ID cards, including biometric data like fingerprints, backed up by a national register and rolling out initially on a voluntary basis as people renew their passports".

Documentation released by the Home Office demonstrated analysis conducted with the private and public sector showed the benefits of the proposed identity card scheme could be quantified at £650m to £1.1bn a year, with a number of other, less quantifiable, strategic benefits — such as disrupting the activities of organised crime and terrorist groups.

The Identity Cards Bill was included in the Queen's Speech on 23 November 2004, and introduced to the House of Commons on 29 November.

Nobody in the UK is required to carry any form of ID.

In everyday situations most authorities, such as the police, do not make spot checks of identification for individuals, although they may do in instances of arrest.Some banks will accept a provisional driving licence only from young people, the upper age limit for which varies from bank to bank, while others will accept it from all ages.Initial attempts to introduce a voluntary identity card were made under the Conservative administration of John Major, under the then Home Secretary Michael Howard.These tests included confidence that the scheme could be made to work, and its impact on civil liberties.In December 2005 the Conservative party elected a new leader, David Cameron, who opposes ID cards in principle.Many of the concerns focused on the databases underlying the identity cards rather than the cards themselves.