Court reform

New solicitor ID card scheme

A new ID scheme will allow solicitors to have enhanced access through security in courts and tribunals.

Birmingham magistrates court

The new arrangement, developed by the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) and Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA), with investment from the Law Society, will enable solicitors to register with the professional users’ access scheme.

All solicitors with a practising certificate can sign up, meaning they can access more than 300 HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) buildings without needing a routine security search on each visit.

Read our press release

Frequently asked questions

Is the scheme for all courts and tribunals?

Yes. As of earlier in January, all 300 court premises in the HMCTS estate are live with the scheme and ID cards can be used at any of their premises.

See a list of the premises

Is the scheme just open for criminal solicitors?

No, all solicitors with a practising certificate can apply for a court ID card.

We’ve partnered with the LCCSA and CLSA in order to expedite the availability of cards and use existing card application processes that meet the requirements of HMCTS’ new professional users' access scheme system.

What is the application process?

Solicitors can apply for an ID card via the LCCSA and CLSA.

There is a small charge of £36 per year for solicitors who are not members of these organisations.

How long will it take to receive an ID card?

Both the CLSA and LCCSA have advised that the application process should take around 10 working days, depending on the volume of applications at the time.

Can solicitors have a QR code on their phone, like with the Bar Council Scheme?

Not at this time. HMCTS’ new system which was implemented in August 2020 does not allow for organisations joining the scheme to develop a smartphone-based ID check.

What ID will I need to apply?

You’ll need a recent passport photograph and your solicitor roll number, plus further details of you and your organisation.

See the CLSA and LCCSA websites for full details.

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