What is a Biometric Passport? Complete Details

What is a Biometric Passport? With the aid of biometric passports, you may save a lot of time when you travel overseas. With them, you won’t have to wait in queue for hours because it will be examined in a matter of seconds. These are also much safer solutions than standard passports.

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A traditional passport with an implanted electronic microprocessor chip that carries biometric data which can be used to confirm the identity of the passport holder, is known as a biometric passport. This biometric passport is also known as an e-passport or digital passport.

With one notable exception, biometric passports resemble regular paper passports. They are often referred to as digital passports or, more commonly, e-passports. E-passports have a microchip embedded in the front cover that stores biometric data such as images, fingerprint scans, or iris scans. Additionally, this chip contains unique security measures that lock it, prevent tampering, and log any attempted invasions. E-passports are identified on their lower front cover by a common symbol, in case you’re unsure if you have one. The signet resembling a circle, made between two rectangles looks like a camera.

A biometric passport adds a degree of protection by storing particular biometric data, such as fingerprint or iris scans or facial mapping for facial recognition software. According to Homeland Security, biometrics are physical traits that are specific to you and can be used to verify identity.

Features of Biometric Passport

The issuance of biometric passports to their residents is being considered by many nations. In 1998, Malaysia became the first nation to issue biometric passports. All biometric passports issued by the United States of America and nations that participate in the USA visa waiver program have security protections included to prevent any data stored on the chip from being read without authorization.

These passports have 41 security measures. The following are a few characteristics of a biometric passport or an e-passport:

  • 64 kilobytes will be the size of the chip’s memory.
  • Your biometric information will be stored on record in the electronic passport.
  • The chip will be imprinted with the holder’s picture and ten fingers’ fingerprints.
  • When moved under light, the embossed holographic graphics on the electronic passport will change color.
  • Your demographic information will be recorded in the electronic passport.
  • Your iris scans will be used to increase the document’s security.
  • Your colorful picture and digital signature are also included in the records
  • The chip contains biometric identity information.
  • Depending on the applicant’s age, the E-passport is valid for 5 to 10 years. 
  • The RFID chip in your passport contains all of your biometric information, including a face scan to match facial recognition software, fingerprints, and an iris scan.

These types of identification systems currently use iris, fingerprint, and face recognition as their standard biometrics. These were adopted following the evaluation of a variety of biometrics, including retinal scans.

How Does Biometric Passport Work

A biometric passport is a cutting-edge passport that can be electronically scanned. It has a microchip that is loaded with the holder’s data. The jacket of the e-passports contains a small silicon chip with 64 kilobytes of memory. All crucial security-related data, including the applicants’ personally identifiable information that has been digitally signed, is stored on this chip. The passports’ front and back covers are probably thicker, so reading them might take a little longer.

The system will be able to recognize when a passport authentication attempt is being made with malicious intent, such as by tampering with the chip, and it will immediately fail. An e-passport’s embedded microchip makes it more difficult to fake and makes it simpler for border officials to spot identity fraud.

Secure practices and policies must be used to authenticate the data kept on the microchip. The personal information of the passport bearer cannot be viewed without authorization thanks to its security features. These new passports can store up to 30 visits. Each of them will also have a unique digital signature that is simple to verify with a certificate.

Benefits of Biometric Passport

In comparison to a standard passport, a biometric passport is considered more sophisticated. It is also known as an e-passport. A microchip with the passport holder’s personal information is placed in it with all the other additional security elements.

  • By using e-passports, gates at border control, biometric passport holders can enter and exit easily. The use of biometric passports might help you save a lot of time while traveling overseas. These eliminate the need for long waits in lines because they are checked quickly. 
  • Furthermore, compared to conventional passports, these are significantly safer solutions.
  • The risk of identity fraud is reduced by incorporating more security measures.
  • It includes biometric information from the likes of faces, iris, and fingerprints. These specifics assist in identifying owners of e-passports.
  • It facilitates the finding of documents on the phone. 
  • The e-passports are extremely difficult to modify as a result. It consequently restricts the entry of unauthorized individuals who use fraudulent documents into any country.
  • It protects peoples’ private rights.
  • If the chip is twisted, the system will be alerted and won’t be able to authenticate the passport.

The Documents Required for a Biometric Passport

The following documentation is necessary for first-time applicants to obtain a biometric passport:

Any Address Proof – This can be your Aadhaar card, a water bill, an electricity bill, a gas connection bill, a phone bill, a rent agreement, or a passbook from any open bank account with a photo on it.

Additionally, candidates should be aware that they need to provide all of the residences they lived in during the preceding year.

Birth Certificate –Include the applicant’s birth certificate from any reputable agency, a driving license, a voter card, an Aadhaar card, a life insurance policy in the applicant’s name, and a transfer, matriculation, or school leaving certificate as proof of birth.

The following documents must be submitted by people who currently have ordinary passports but are asking for the issuance of biometric passports:

  • Description page
  • Original passport page 
  • ECR or without ECR page
  • Copy of the passport’s first and last pages


Although it is clear that biometric passports offer security advantages and are convenient, many of their detractors are concerned about how these passports may damage civil freedoms. One of the primary issues with biometric passports, according to them, is that the information stored on the chip can be wirelessly transferred via RFID technology. According to them, since the data on the chip is not encrypted, criminals might readily access it.

If you’ve lost your passport or you find that it’s been stolen, the first thing you should do is notify the local police. Request an incident report from them because you might require that report to present to your embassy or consulate when applying for a new passport or temporary travel document. 

Reporting the loss of your passports to your country’s embassy or consulate is the next step. However, it is next to impossible to steal the biometric passport as security is one of the main benefits of an e-passport because it prevents identity theft. Although the chips in e-passports may be seen from a distance of several feet, the data on the chip can only be read when the passport is within four inches of the scanner.

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