International Passport Primary Security Features

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Features of the Canadian passport

Identification page of the passport booklet

The current generation of the Canadian passport (issued in Canada since 2002 and at Government of Canada passport-issuing offices abroad since April 2006) has many security features that make it difficult to alter or forge. On the cover there is an updated version of the gold Canada Coat of Arms. The personal information page (page 2) identifying the bearer includes:

  1. Digital photo
    The bearer’s photo is digitally printed and embedded into the page.
  2. Holograms
    A series of holographic images called a “crystagram” are embossed on the secure information page. When the booklet is tilted, they appear to move across the page.
  3. Special ink
    “Optically variable ink” that changes colour under different lighting is used.
  4. “Ghost” photo
    A copy of the bearer’s photo appears only under ultraviolet light.
  5. Digitally-printed information
    The personal data and signature are digitally printed and embedded in the page and cannot be removed or erased.
  6. Machine-readable zone
    The last two lines at the bottom of the page form the machine-readable zone, which repeats the bearer’s personal information and passport details in a special format.

Starting on July 1, 2013, all new Canadian passports issued will be electronic passports, or ePassports. At that time, adult applicants will have the option of a 5- or 10-year ePassport for both first-time applications and renewals, while children’s ePassports will be issued for a maximum of 5 years.

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