The Irish Public Services Card, a de facto ID


In Ireland benefits claimants are expected to register for a Public Services Card (PSC) in order to access benefits. PSC users are expected to have their photographs taken in department offices, which is then digitally captured along with their signature. While this card was originally created to prevent benefits fraud – by insuring someone could not register twice to claim benefits – it is increasingly being used as a de facto form of ID and citizens have been apply for PSC even when they do not claim benefits. More and more interactions with the Irish state now require a PSC (driver theory test, first time or lost passport applications, citizenship applications), thus while not compulsory in theory, it is more and more difficult for Irish citizens to live without one in practice.

Author: Elizabeth Farries

Publication: Digital Freedom Fund

Author: Conor Kane

Publication: Irish Times

Author: Karlin Lillington

Publication: Irish Times