White cliffs to feature on new UK passport

Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:09pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Britain is to start issuing new-look passports featuring some of its most famous natural features like the white cliffs of Dover and Ben Nevis.

Other scenes to adorn the inside pages will include the Gower Peninsula in Wales and the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

The new passports, to be introduced from October, will also include enhanced security features and replace an ePassport which was brought in four years ago to comply with the U.S. Visa Waiver Programme.

"The new design is part of our strategy to stay ahead of criminals who look to fraudulently alter or copy passports," said Sarah Rapson, Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service.

The holder's personal details will now appear on the second page, bringing UK passports into line with those of many other countries, which the government said would speed travelers' passage through border controls.

Other new security measures include moving the chip that stores the holder's details to the inside of the passport cover so it is no longer visible and adding a transparent covering which includes several holograms.

The new passport images will also stretch across two pages instead of one.

"Through its combination of physical and electronic security features, the UK passport remains one of the most secure and trusted documents in the world, meeting rigorous international standards," Rapson said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

 
<p>Britain's new-look passport in an undated image. REUTERS/Home Office</p>