Plans to introduce a national proof-of-age card have been given a boost by a Government investigation into identity cards.
A prototype national identity card has been created by the Home Office, which means the Government now has the technology and knowledge to introduce such a card - should it want to.
Ministers commissioned the Passport Agency to carry out a feasibility study aimed at producing a card with fingerprint and face-imaging technology as well as encoded information about the holder.
The complicated trials produced a photocard passport which could be used as the basis for a national identity card. The trade has been campaigning for a Government-approved proof-of-age card for some time and last week welcomed the introduction of the PASS logo to validate existing schemes.
But licensees are still concerned that cards are not compulsory and some have said they will continue to accept only passports or photo driving licences until a mandatory scheme is introduced.
A statement on the Home Office website said: "The Government is considering whether a universal card which allowed people to prove their identity more easily and provided a simple way to access a range of public services would be beneficial."