New Passport Rules for 2016

The USA Passport Agency is eliminating the visa page insert service beginning January 1, 2016. The date of this rule coincides with when the Department will begin issuing an updated version of the Next Generation Passport book. The Department routinely updates the technology used to produce U.S. passport books so that U.S. passport books use the most current anti-fraud and anti-counterfeit measures.

The Next Generation Passport will contain an embeded data chip that makes your personal data machine-readable. The chip, embedded in the information page, will be protected by a polycarbonate coating and will be personalized with laser engraving. This passport will also employ conical laser perforation of the passport number through the data and visa pages; display a general artwork upgrade and new security features including watermark, security artwork, optical variable security devices, tactile features, and optically variable inks. The primary reason for eliminating visa page inserts is to protect the integrity of the Next Generation Passport books. The visa page inserts could compromise the effectiveness of security features of the new passport books that are intended to provide greater protections against fraud and misuse.

The new 2016 passport will be the 52-page passport book (not the previous version 28-page book)

**Bottom line: people who have a current passport valid for several years still, but with only a couple of blank pages inside, should get their extra pages added within the next month or so. After that, no more adding pages. The new books are double in size with extra security, but will not be allowed to add pages to any (new or older) after January 1, 2016….


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