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An identity tape was a data tape with identification data used by Federation citizens during the 23rd century. Identity tapes were typically used by citizens engaged in deep-space travel that might take them out of regular contact with the Federation. The tapes provided a form of verification and guarded against identity fraud over long periods of absence from society, during which time their identity might be assumed by another individual. They included biometrics of the individual and could be matched to records of that individual maintained in the computer of a starship or starbase. Identity tapes were admissable in court to verify identities. (TOS: "Court Martial")
Starfleet regulations demanded immediate identification and a medical check for persons arriving on a starship. The Vendorian posing as Carter Winston supplied the real Carter Winston's identity tapes to Spock upon request; the first officer told the impostor that he would notify Anne Nored of his presence upon the verification of "Winston"'s identity. Doctor Leonard McCoy felt this to be a "cold-blooded, inhospitable request". (TAS: "The Survivor")