The UK passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world.

The British travel document allows visa-free access to 157 countries globally.

This means it needs to be protected with a specific design to ensure it is not copied by crooks who want to make fake versions.

It also prevents criminals tampering with the passport in order to change the names or photographs listed on them.

In a recently released document entitled “Introducing the new UK passport design”, Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HM Passport Office) have explained some of these security measures.

passport shakespeare holographic

Passport news: The new British passport has a number of unique features

“The UK passport is one of the most important documents a British national can hold, giving them the freedom of international travel and a means to prove their identity,” reads the document.

“But as an internationally respected document it also becomes a target for fraudsters who try to create false passports, or tamper with existing ones for criminal gain. 

“The latest design has improved physical security features, which keeps the UK passport secure from forgers and counterfeiters, making it harder to copy or tamper with. 

One of these is a 3D watermark of (who else?) William Shakespeare, embedded into a number of pages in the document. 

UK passport suitcase

UK passport is one of the most powerful in the world

Another new measure is a chip which contains an electronic image of the passport holder

Another new measure is a chip which contains an electronic image of the passport holder, which is then embedded into the document.

A number of different security inks are used to print the passport, some of which only appear under UV light.

The new passport is also constructed in a clever new way to prevent it being tampered with.

It is made from a single continuous sheet of paper, which runs from the laminated personal details page to the page attached to the back cover.

holographic

The passport makes use of special holographic images, including one of Shakespeare

Finally, a special sewing thread is used to bind the pages of the passport together.

In most lights, the strands will just look red, white and blue – but, when exposed to UV light, they will become fluorescent. 

However, as you might suspect, the HM passport office keep a number of these security measures secret to prevent crooks replicating them.

“Many of these features are top secret to prevent criminals from knowing all of the security details used in the passport.”

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