Protocol Branch issues identity cards to demonstrate official recognition of the status granted under the Vienna Conventions (or other arrangements, for international organisations). The cards (which are colour coded according to the category of accreditation) carry a brief statement of the immunities to which the holder is entitled.
For a home-based official, identity cards have an expiry date that matches the official's visa. A new card should be requested if the official's visa needs to be renewed.
For honorary consuls, identity cards are usually issued for five years. Requests for new cards should be made six weeks before the expiry date to allow time for Protocol Branch to consult with the sending government about renewal.
Lost identity cards should be reported to the police and a copy of the police report should be provided to Protocol Branch with a request for a replacement.