Letter: Citizen Card waste of money if you want to open bank account

My daughter, recently turned 18, applied for a Citizen Card in the belief that this was a valid form of photo identification.

Letter: Citizen Card waste of money if you want to open bank account

The document is Home Office approved and recommended, and is apparently subject to more robust checks than is currently a passport. It is 'sold' to school leavers and college students as a way of proving their age, whilst also serving as a valid form of ID in many circumstances.

Some councils are urging people of all ages, not just teenagers to sign up for one – seemingly the backdoor way into ID cards.

However, we hit our first brick wall with opening a savings account. Banks do not accept the Citizen Card as a valid form of ID as it has not been approved by the FSA. In order to open a bank account, the young applicant must have a passport or a driving licence.

My daughter has applied for neither as she has no intention or funding to travel or drive in the short term and has a part time job in between her college studies so cannot afford to apply for them.

In any case, to apply for a passport or a driving licence, a bank account is needed in order to write a cheque or make a visa payment.

But according to the bank, my daughter doesn't need a bank account to apply or pay for a passport or driving licence; she can pay by credit card.

When asked if the bank would issue a credit card to a teenager with no credit history, and no account with them, of course the answer was no. So parents are expected to pay. The government have introduced the card, charging £12 per application (£24 if you want it within a week) but have done nothing to promote or educate the organisations where its use is intended.

As such, its use is extremely limited allowing only the legal purchase of alcohol and tobacco and even then it is not reliably accepted but down to the sales individuals perception of its legality.

It is extremely frustrating and disappointing to have your child become an adult and then have to continue to do all the things for them that in earlier generations we could do for ourselves.

Suzanne Knight, Telford

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