Section 148: Registration Card
375.Section 148 inserts section 26A into the 1971 Act which creates a number of new offences relating to the creation, possession and use of false or altered registration cards.
376.Subsections (1) and (2) define a registration card as a card containing information about a person issued by the Secretary of State in connection with a claim for asylum. A "claim for asylum" is a claim made for asylum or for protection under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights. A card may issued to the asylum claimant themselves or to a spouse or dependant of that claimant.
377.The offences are contained in subsection (3). These include making a false card, altering a genuine card with intent to deceive (or to enable someone else to deceive), possessing a false or altered card without reasonable excuse, using a false card, and using an altered genuine card with intent to deceive. There are also offences relating to equipment designed to be used in making or altering cards.
378.The maximum custodial sentence for the offences involving “possession” of a false or altered card or an article designed to make one is two years following conviction on indictment. The maximum custodial sentence for the other offences (including making, altering and using the card) is ten years imprisonment.
379.Subsections (7) and (8) provide that the Secretary of State may amend the definition of a card by order.