A number of changes will make new passports in the United States not only look sleeker but also be more durable and more secure. Many of the changes we’re implementing are things that other countries are already doing, so in a few ways we’re playing a bit of catch-up with these modifications. That said, a US passport is still one of the most powerful travel documents around the world, and these changes will only make your passport better.
Perhaps the biggest change is going to be to the information page. New passports issued in 2016 and beyond will have a machine-readable data chip embedded in the information page. This chip will contain all of the personal information currently found on the information page of your passport. This helps prevent people from stealing your passport and manually altering information on the page to make it look like their own.
If you’re worried that high-tech thieves may be able to read this chip and steal your information, that’s not really a concern. In order for the chip to be read, your passport has to be open to the correct page. So if you’re walking around with your passport in your pocket, there’s no way that a thief will be able to steal your information electronically.
The new passports will also have a polycarbonate cover that helps prevent water damage, bending, and other sorts of wear and tear.
In 2106, US passports will have numbers on the pages again. US passports used to have numbered pages, and the powers that be have decided to go back to the old way of doing things. Numbers help you keep track of the number of pages you have left in your passport, which is important because many countries require that you have at least four blank pages remaining in order for you to enter. If you’re someone who travels a lot, you can get a passport with 52 pages for visa stamps rather than the standard 28 pages. This upgrade is available now and comes at no additional cost.
If you are a frequent traveler, we highly recommend opting for the bigger passport. This is because, in 2016, US passport holders will no longer have the option to add pages to your passport. In lieu of adding pages, travelers will now need to renew their passport.
Over the last two decades the number of US passport holders has increased nearly tenfold. If you want to join the party and start traveling the world with a fancy new US passport, contact Swift today at to start your passport application process.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.