British Army, RN, RAF ID CARDS before MOD 90

Hello everybody
I am making a research about British Armed Forces ID cards before MOD 90 and design evolution of MOD 90 (not including current form). Specifically I am looking for help regarding:
- ID cards issued by each branch from the end of WWII to the introduction of MOD 90
- evolution of such forms of identification for each branch through the decades until MOD 90.
- ownership over reviews of such documents. I am asking if the decisions about forms' changes are taken at branch level or MOD level. In such last case, changes would occurr simultaneously and would be standardized for all branches.

I found some information online about the Geneva Convention card (F/Ident/189) and some Army IDs.
Regarding RAF, all I know is that there were 2 versions of form 1250, but that's WWII stuff. No idea about what comes after. No idea about RN documents as well.

Also if possible and does not violate opsec, I am looking for information about variations of MOD 90, before its actual design. I figured out that (regarding Army MOD 90) at least 2 variations occurred after its introduction: the first one introduces the magnetic strip, second one partially changes text on backside. Also there are minor variations on front side. No idea about evolution of RAF and RN forms.

photos and information are welcomed, both here or via message. Thanks for the help!

PS: just registered but did not find any introduction section. If exists will be glad to post something there.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There's certainly some obscure research being done out there. As far as I'm aware MOD Form 90 is a single service document. Navy and Air Force types call them something else. Although I stand to be corrected. The current 'credit card' style came in in late 1993 or early 1994 which is when I got my first one. As you say it has had some minor design changes since then.

Prior to that the Army had a pink laminated MOD Form 90 with a black and white photo which you used to have to hold your number up in the picture - mugshot style. I can't say when they first started being issued, I got one in 1979 but I don't recall my father having anything different certainly going back to the late 60's. I certainly remember him having it in his wallet.
RAF version is still called F1250.

Initial versions of credit card version did not have rank for the Army.
Thank you BuggerAll you cleared a big doubt. I have read that MOD 90 was used before 90s but I thought that MOD 90 identified only the plastic card not previous editions. Probably there was something else in 60s (right before the introduction of the pink card). I found a 50s ID card (form B 260J) online: King's Own Royal Regiment Museum
Seems unlikely they used this kind of form until the pink card. Do you remember how it looked like? Hope you do not mind. I could not find a photo of it anywhere.

Well when I left the RAF mid 90's we were using F1250.
Do you mean the blue laminated ID card? like the one attached


I find those King's Own examples fascinating, as I never had that particular Army Form. My first MOD 90 was issued in either 1966 or 67. Before that we had ID Cards without photos, but otherwise very similar to those first two King's Own examples, rendering them fairly useless.

That first version MOD 90 replaced two cards in the unit I was in. Because we minced about a lot on RAF aircraft we were required to have at all times, not only an ID card but an Addressograph card. This was required so that when you formed up in front of whoever was producing flight manifests, he took your card, banged it in the machine, and your details were added to the manifest. Simples! The first MOD 90 had the same details, Name, Rank No, raised as per bank card, across the bottom in the same places as the Addressograph, rendering it superfluous.
Late 80s I had a pink MOD 90 and I've still got it in the loft some where bloody thing cost me £50 when I lost it. I was tempted to hand it in and to ask for my money back thankfully a little voice whispered in my ear not as it was handy to have a spare.
I'm trying to remember what I had early 80s but alas it not happening sadly.

I must admit I have always wondered what is or was on the magnetic strip on my last one.
Hello OP, I'm taking a bit of a guess here but before the ID card was first introduced, soldiers had a "pay book". So that probably did the job as an ID card as well. So to cover this thoroughly you should look into the pay book as well and find when they were discontinued.

Army Book 64 was it's official designation.
(Army ) ID cards ,coloured pink,came in a flimsy thin, perspex sleeve.Definitely had a photo on.Had my original AAJLR days card for about 5 years that didn't look anything like me, which was replaced in '65 when we went to Berlin.They were very fussy,not wanting to give Russians/East Germans any excuse to pull us over.
I was in the RN from '69 to '80, the ID for all that time was a blue handwritten/typed affair with a Photome machine photo. Bigger than a MOD90. It was known as Form S1511 and the plastic sleeve was Form S1511B.

The R.N. Pay and Identity Book was the forerunner but was also issued alongside the 1511 for kit accounting, pulheem etc. but was not generally valid for ID. When it ceased to be an ID I don't know.


Book Reviewer
Speak to the Naval museum in Portsmouth, they have a collection of ID documents going back to the warrants and seals for ships captains in Elizabethan times.
Thank you everybody for your help.
bloody thing cost me £50 when I lost it
I have read about that, that sounds awful. 50 pounds for a plastic ID sounds like a theft today, I do not dare to imagine when you lost it. If I am not wrong, today you no longer have to pay for it.
By what I have understood, after WWII (50s) there was then an ID card similar to the King's Own Royal Regiment but without photo (much like warrant cards in 70s) which was replaced somewhere during 60s by the pink MOD 90 and lasted until 90s. Eventually the pinkie card has been replaced again with the green one during 90s.

Speak to the Naval museum in Portsmouth, they have a collection of ID documents going back to the warrants and seals for ships captains in Elizabethan times.
That's great. Thanks for the information.

No. Blue alright but the photo was Lasered, sort of negative and on the right hand side.
Sounds like the new F1250 (I suppose it started to be issued in the same years of MOD 90):

Also the practice of issuing different forms of identification to certain units is pretty singular. I am referring to the King's Own


That 1250 looks different to what I remember. The majority of the card was a solid blue and I don't recall the crest top left. Then again I did leave mid 90's so memory could be playing tricks. As regards paying for a lost one that was least of your worries. Chargeable offence from memory.
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DAS, I think your memory is failing you. The blue card is the one for parking your car remember? :)
82,the raf 1250 was white plastic credit card size the photo was in the corner and tiny,about 86 I think it when to blue with the photo taking half the space,no study of id cards would be complete without a look at the classic nig s6/s10/gsr, cbrn/nbc id card photo


I joined the RAF in 1980 and had a plain white F1250 with a crude B&W photo etched in but later on I lost it and think the replacement was the blue version with a colour photograph. The white version didn't look like the examples posted earlier. I believe the F1250 has been replaced by the MoD F90.
Hello OP, I'm taking a bit of a guess here but before the ID card was first introduced, soldiers had a "pay book". So that probably did the job as an ID card as well. So to cover this thoroughly you should look into the pay book as well and find when they were discontinued.

Army Book 64 was it's official designation.
IIRC AB64 Pt II, brown linen-covered thing, Pt I was the actual pay record, (or t'other way round). Almost any old war movie would show somewhere a monkey asking to see a soldier's pay book as ID. It ran on after the war in addition to ID card.

Fascinating document as it showed postings, courses, promotions etc with much more detail than the discharge book. Ran for some time after the war alongside ID cards. I happened to be standing in as Sqn Clk when they were collected for destruction in 1961. More than one hairy old WO2 came into the office demanding I give them theirs. "My whole f'in' life's in there, the b'stards are not having that!" "Help yourself Sir". I kept my own, but sadly lost it in a house move/clearance.
The pinkish plastic card with the black and white photo (MOD90) was issued to me in 1971 and I kept it until I left in 1977.

Interestingly when I served with the UN in Cyprus in 1976, we had to carry three ID cards.

On that tour, you had your usual MOD90 plus a UN ID card which was a blue coloured piece of card with the UNICYP logo, your photo and personal details on it. We also had to carry a piece of A4 paper with wording written in Greek explaining that we were part of the sovereign base contingent for use if we happened to be on a sovereign base at any time during the tour.

I accidentally gatecrashed a Greek Cypriot army camp on one occasion while driving a UN land rover one dark evening. I realised I'd done so when I heard shouting and looked in the rear view mirror and saw the sentry with a .303 and a very large bayonet attached to it chasing after me.

I just handed over all three ID's to the now gathering crowd of Greek Cypriot squaddies and prayed while they used the land rover headlights to look at them.

Eventually after a lengthy discussion between themselves and much to my relief, they handed them all back to me and let me go.

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