Here is Australia’s stunning new-look passport

Our latest passports are getting a high-tech makeover.

By David Flynn, September 23 2022
Here is Australia’s stunning new-look passport

Australians are once again travelling overseas en masse, and from this month many of them will having their boarding passes tucked into a new-look passport.

Making their official debut today, the R series passports – named for the first letter in the individual passport number – will be progressively issued to applicants for new and renewed passports beginning this month.

However, until the end of 2022 “some passport customers will still receive a P Series passport,” advises the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The R series passports are packed with advanced security features compared to the current P series introduced in 2014, with innovative features responding to touch, movement, ultraviolet and infrared light.

The photo page is made of a tough, high-security layered plastic that’s laser-engraved, not printed with ink – as a result, the photo on the main photo page is in black and white, although it appears in colour on the facing ‘Observations’ page.

Some of the new features on the photo pages of the new R series passport.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Some of the new features on the photo pages of the new R series passport.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

A tactile raised map of Australia is embedded in the lower-left corner of the main photo, while a radio antenna for the embedded ePassport chip is visible at the far right of the page.

The front cover is more refined than the P series, while the back cover is decorated with two embossed kangaroos in Indigenous design, while inside pages showcase Australia’s natural beauty.

Australia's new-look R series passport.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Australia's new-look R series passport.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The inside front and back cover pages represent the country’s coasts – rather apropos, as that’s how all travellers enter and leave Australia – the blank ‘visa’ pages are decorated with photo-realistic double-page colour illustrations of iconic landscapes from around the country.

Under ultraviolet light, the sky in each image becomes a unique nightscape, and a local species of native fauna appears.

UV light turns colourful landscapes into night-time images with native fauna.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
UV light turns colourful landscapes into night-time images with native fauna.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Other hidden features: the wattle on the ‘security features’ page changes colour when held at different angle, and under ultraviolet light a red and white wattle appears on the inside front cover, under the Governor-General’s message on the inside front cover.

UV light reveals extra hidden details on the new R series passports.. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

UV light reveals extra hidden details on the new R series passports.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

But recent events overtook even the R passport, with the Governor-General’s message still referencing “her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second,” the Department of Foreign Affairs explains. 

“We will exhaust existing stock before issuing passports with revised text that reflects the accession of His Majesty King Charles III.”

Time to renew your passport? These top tips will speed up your Australian passport renewal.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jun 2018

Total posts 15

They look really good and look forward to getting one.  Would be nice if the new series passports are valid for 12 years to make up for the 2 years that the current series got locked up for.

QFF

16 Nov 2014

Total posts 16

let's hope this one works better than my current one which for 7 years failed to recognise me at the automatic gates leaving Sydney but recognised me coming in (supposedly two different softwares apparently). Leaving last month it suddenly decided it knew me (and the excuse given by ABF for being manually checked for 7 years was that it may have been blocked as they were looking for somebody else??). I had also been told previously that there was a biometric mismatch - I paid $400+ for this??) -  at the time I checked with the passports office they frankly told me that Australia had the third most expensive passport in the world - but current cost now $309. My NZ one cost me $150 3 years ago and cost is based purely on cost recovery so actually went down a little later. Aust one was clearly revenue item, but cost has come down now?


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