New UK passport unveiled

Saturday 28, August 2010


New UK passport unveiled


The redesigned UK passport, now featuring strengthened security features and iconic images from across the nation, was unveiled today by Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service Sarah Rapson.


The new 10 year passport will be issued from October, with pages of the passport containing well-known UK scenes, including the White Cliffs of Dover, the Gower Peninsula, Ben Nevis and the Giant's Causeway.


The use of these images, recreated through special printing techniques, is just one of a number of enhanced security features contained in the passport, which will give UK citizens added protection from identity theft and fraud and ensure speedier travel across borders.


New security measures include:


  • moving the chip which stores the holder's details to the inside of the passport cover where it will no longer be visible. This gives additional physical protection as well as making it much harder to replace the chip without damage to the passport cover being spotted;
  • a secondary image of the holder printed onto the observations page;
  • new designs now stretching across two pages; and
  • a new transparent covering which includes several holograms to protect the holder's personal details.


Sarah Rapson said:

"The new passport features a host of scenes from across the UK.


"Through its combination of physical and electronic security features, the UK passport remains one of the most secure and trusted documents in the world, meeting rigorous international standards.


"The new design is part of our strategy to stay ahead of criminals who look to fraudulently alter or copy passports.”


The new passport will replace the current UK ePassport, which was upgraded in 2006 with the addition of an electronic chip to hold the owner's details, and to comply with the US Visa Waiver Programme.



The personal details page of the passport has been moved to the front of the book, in common with many European countries and New Zealand, USA, Australia, Canada, Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Republic of Korea (south) and Liberia.


Passports have changed immeasurably in their design since the launch of the first modern UK passport in 1915. It was a one-page document folded into eight, with a cardboard cover. It contained a photo and signature, together with details of the holder, such as the size of a person's nose and eyes, and also described their complexion.


Since then, 15 different versions of the passport have been issued.For more information on the history of the passport, visit:


The electronic passport or ePassport was launched in 2006 and featured a microchip and facial biometrics. There are now around 25 million ePassports in use. During the last financial year (09/10) the Identity and Passport Service issued 5.35 million passports.


An adult passport costs £77.50 for standard service and £112.50 for the one week Fast Track service. A child passport costs £49 for standard service and £96.50 for the one-week Fast Track service.



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