The Germans already pay for their compulsory paper identity cards, and there are plans to introduce an electronic version carrying fingerprint information. Belgium is in the process of issuing a compulsory electronic identity card to all citizens over the age of 12. The Belgian cards cost around €10 but contain no biometric information.
Finland issues electronic identity cards containing only the holder's name and some 1024-bit encryption keys in electronic format. The cards cost €40 and are valid for just three years because, authorities say, there's no way of telling whether 1024-bit encryption will be strong enough to withstand attacks over longer periods, as computer power is always increasing. The cards are also printed with a photo and other information, and are valid for travel to certain countries.
The U.K. has no national ID card. The government tried to create one, but failed to pass the necessary legislation before the end of the parliamentary session. It may reintroduce the bill if it wins the country's general election on May 5.