New Australian passport design packs high-tech security features

By David Flynn, June 27 2014
New Australian passport design packs high-tech security features

Australian passports are a getting a a high-tech make-over, with new security features partnering the smartchip that's already embedded between the pages.

The 'e-passports', which will be progressively issued to applicants for new and renewed passports, is printed using the same technologies as Australian banknotes, which are regarded as among the world's most secure and counterfeit-proof cash notes.

Dubbed the 'P' series of passports, the latest design follows the current M and N versions with the same 'Australian-flag blue with gold embossed cover'.

But one of the visible security features between the covers is a new security laminate with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade boasts as "the world’s first colour floating image.'

This and other features will make the passports even more difficult to forge.

"The P series of passport incorporates technology that assists in combating fraud, terrorism and organised crime, and will assist our efforts to bolster national security" said Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

Also read: Tired of waiting for visa approvals? How to get a second Australian passport

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 467

Sounds good as i expect the cost of a new passport will to all.

When are these being released? I need to renew my passport but will be doing so in America.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 557

Good for you

With the digitisation of data and the sharing of data across borders by private companies and government agencies, why do we even need passports?

If details of our identity is already recorded on a database, wouldn't our fingerprint or facial features be the only thing required to match against the database and thereby confirming our identity? 

Wouldnt that be the key to tackle identity theft and fraud?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2013

Total posts 40


Talk about conflating speculations into fact! On the contrary if one could prove one's identity via a match against a central database without reference to a set of documents that can be forged, the risk would be greatly minimised.

It would be great if passports could be the size of a credit card that could go into the wallet/purse..then when I win lotto I won't need to go home to get it,I will be straight off to the airport..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 93

The US Dept of State issues a "passport card" which is RFID too - I've seen one in the flesh, it's pretty neat with convincing security features. However it's use is restricted to a portion of the Americas - an implementation like this is confined to the agreements between each of the countries on a visa-free, stamp-free border patrol program. 

I'm actually surprised the the APEC card isn't a passport card - in that you still require your passport in tandem with your card - considering that the whole premise is to enable easy business travel. 

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 31

Citizens of some Schengen Area countries which issue national ID cards can travel in the Schengen Area with their ID card rather than with a passport. As P.B. says, it's only going to work for countries with open border agreements. The closest we might get in Australia is passport free travel to NZ.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 714

I saw someone with this new passport type the other day (it was the missing gold embossing that clued me that this was a new design), so very timely this AusBT article was.

Great to hear enhanced security features have been included, even though the old passport types will still be in use for a while. Passport fraud is a serious concern, even though the numbers are small comparatively (but then even one bad apple can cause massive problems).

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