US passport

What type of information is stored on the epassport?

The only personal information stored on the chip is the same information that is printed on the data page of the passport. This includes your name, date and place of birth, sex, nationality and a digital version of the photograph. Information about the passport is also in the chip, such as the number, issue date and place, and the expiration date.

U.S.

Why can’t a criminal or terrorist steal an epassport and put their photo in it?

A criminal or terrorist might steal an epassport and replace the picture by a fraudulent one on the printed data page, but there is a digital copy of your picture on the epassport security chip that cannot be changed without detection.

The information on the chip-including everything on the printed data page and the photograph-is "signed" using a type of electronic seal, called a digital signature.

International

How do I find the passport, Visa or other entry requirements for a specific country?

Today, most countries put all the information you need to know about visiting other countries on their Web site. Other useful information to research before you travel and take with you includes the locations of the embassy and consulates, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information and drug penalties.
International

Would someone be able to read or access the information on the chip using some special reader by just being close to me? (Sometimes this is called “skimming.”)

No one can read or access the information on the security chip in an electronic passport without you knowing it, even if someone is standing next to you with a special reader, for example, as long as the epassport is protected by access control security. Although there are global standards, each country determines how they will implement epassport access security. One way is with Basic Access Control, or BAC. In this case, the epassport chip is "locked" with a key that is unique to each epassport.
International

How do I find the passport, Visa or other entry requirements for a specific country?

All the information you need to know about visiting a specific country is available from the U.S. Department of State at the link below, organized by country.  Information on entry requirements is in the Entry/Exit Requirements section.  Other useful information includes the locations of the U.S. embassy and consulates, unusual immigration practices, health conditions, minor political disturbances, unusual currency and entry regulations, crime and security information and drug penalties.
U.S.

What are the differences between contactless smart cards and RFID?

Contactless smart cards are a very different technology from RFID tags.  Both are wireless, meaning they can communicate using radio like a cell phone, but contactless smart cards are far more advanced and secure.

Contactless smart cards have small but sophisticated computers inside them.  They deliver the highest levels of computer security to protect your identity, privacy or financial information.  Contactless smart card technology is suitable for uses such as identity credentials, passports and payment cards.
U.S.

Can I get a new passport without a chip?

Since August 2007, all domestic passport agencies and centers issue only epassports. The move to electronic passports is worldwide, driven by the realization that paper-based passports can be too easily altered and falsified.

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress legislated that all countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program-which lets foreigners visit without obtaining a Visa-must issue electronic passports. Now there are international agreements in place and many countries around the world are issuing them.

U.S.

Do I have an epassport?


If your U.S. passport was issued after June 2007, you have an electronic passport. If it was issued in the 12 months prior, it is likely you have an epassport. The way to know for sure is to look for this logo imprinted in gold on the cover of epassports. The electronic security features inside are designed to prevent anyone but you from successfully using that passport. If stolen, your passport picture could be replaced by a fraudulent one on the printed data page, but the digital copy of your picture on the chip can't be changed without detection.

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