If you need a Law Society ID card to confirm your status as a practising solicitor at courts, police stations, prisons, etc, but do not require a digital signature service, you can apply for an ID only card when your current Law Society Smartcard expires.
ID only cards are free of charge and valid for 10 years. Please be aware that if you do require a digital signature this will incur a cost and take longer to produce.
In order to start the Smartcard process you must have a valid practising certificate, either a restricted or full one. If you do not hold either, we cannot process your submission or create a card for you. If you are unsure of your practising certificate status, then please contact the Registrar team by email.
How to obtain your ID only card
You can apply for a new ID card quickly and easily using our online submission form. Just log in to the members area on our website using your normal Law Society member sign in details. Then click on the "Smartcard submission" option on the website menu
Carefully check the name you are entering on the form. You need to ensure it is the name you wish to practise under. Naturally, if you have changed your name through a deed poll, marriage, or divorce, then please contact the Registrars team with evidence of your name change so they can amend our records.
Make sure we have the correct business address for you. We will send your ID only card to this address, so it needs to be current. If this is not your business address, please get in touch with the Registrar to have your record amended.
Please indicate on the dropdown menu "ID only," unless of course you would like a digital signature as well.
You also need to upload a passport-sized photograph.
This photograph will be printed onto your Smartcard, therefore it needs to be of a certain quality. We will check your uploaded photo when it arrives, and if it is not fit for purpose, you will have to submit your form and photo again. Also please note that this should be a photo that you would not be embarrassed to show to colleagues and clients. We will not print multiple cards if you are unhappy with the image that you sent us. The images will be updated 10 years after you receive your ID card, so if the image is unflattering, you will have to wait for the next round to get a new card.
The image must be a jpg/jpeg file and should be 300 x 400 pixels in size and no bigger than 500 KB. The filename must be your 5-digit Law Society ID number – this will enable us to match the right photo to the right person when preparing a card. You received this number when you first registered with us; it is unique to you and is noted on your practising certificate. (upper right hand corner)
Please ensure your photograph fulfills the following criteria:
- It is a true likeness of you, and of your full head.
- It is in colour against a white/cream/light background.
- It is clear, in sharp focus, has no red eye or shadow.
- It must show a close-up of your full head and shoulders and not include any objects or other people, neither next to you nor in the background.
Your photograph must be an original image. Please do not use images that have been cut from larger photos. When selecting the image, please make sure that you:
- Face forward and look straight into the camera with your eyes open.
- Look natural.
- Have nothing covering your eyes, e.g. hair, hair accessories, hoods, hats, etc.
- Not wear sun or tinted glasses.
- Not wear a hat or cover your head unless for medical or religious reasons.
- Do not alter the image in any way by retouching it, applying filters or using similar means.
Photographs originally produced to passport requirements are acceptable.
When you have checked and confirmed the information and attached your photograph, click the submit button. We will send you a confirmation email saying that we received your application.
Once we have received your form and photograph, we will check and process them and print an ID card for you.
It will then be sent to the business address we have for you. Please ensure that your address details are up to date; if you are not sure or need to make changes, get in touch with the Registrar team to confirm your records.
You will not be able to use the card for anything electronic; it will work as ID only. The card contains your photograph and your Law Society ID number which can be checked against the current roll of solicitors. The ID card identifies you as a Scottish qualified solicitor, licensed and with a valid practising certificate. You can present the card as proof while visiting prisons and courts, meeting prospective clients or introducing yourself to potential employers.
We removed the logo of the signature supplier and the CCBE from the ID-only cards, since these two organisations are not involved with an ID issued by the Society. Otherwise the cards look the same.
Yes, we have been in contact with the courts, prison service, and police services throughout this process. All agencies are aware of the new ID-only card and of the slight changes in design. Both Smartcard with signatures and ID only cards still contain the solicitor ID number which can be checked online. If in doubt, any agency can make use of that facility.