Starting this week in October, the newly refurbished United Kingdom passports will be issued. These improved UK passports, which replace the 2006 released ePassport, promise to be a prettier and safer travel document. Please Note: The new passports do not make your old ones redundant. All passports issued before October 2010 are still valid for their full term!
Some of the most noteworthy upgrades include the following:
There are images of famous UK scenery (the White cliffs of Dover, Ben Nevis etc.) printed on the pages inside the passport. This has been included as a safety feature against identity theft - a crime that has risen in prominence over the last few decades. With these specially printed images (which stretch across two pages), passports will be impossible to recreate, even when using the fanciest laser printer money can buy.
The security chip, which contains all the traveller's information, has been moved inside the passport cover. By placing the chip inside the cover, it becomes more difficult to replace without damaging the document.
A transparent coverthat includes protective holograms, which hide the holder's information - yes, that does sound like something from Star Wars.
The passport holder's personal details will be printed on the second page of the document, instead of the back page. This is in accordance with other EU passports, which the Home Office promises will speed things up at border posts. A second image of the holder is also included on the observations page.
The UK Home Office website has a full press release on the new passport, which is available from this month - Octber 2010.more blog posts