A VERIFY reader was confused by a TikTok that said ePassports would be available on March 31, but it was referring to Jamaica. In the US, they have existed since 2007.
As technology continues to evolve, customs and security officials at airports around the world are looking for ways to use new technologies to speed up and simplify customs and passport checks. As part of this, biometrics and electronic passportsor electronic passports, are becoming increasingly popular.
Marilyn wrote VERIFY with screenshots from a TikTok video that says “ePassports will be available on March 31.” She asked if it was true.
Does the US issue ePassports?
Yes, the USA has been issuing electronic passports since 2007.
WHAT WE FOUND
An electronic or electronic passport is a standard book passport with a microchip embedded in the back cover. It is not a digital passport like a mobile passport app.
The US Department of State says that since 2007 it has been issuing electronic passports exclusively.
The screenshots Marilyn sent to VERIFY are from a TikTok account a former Jamaica News Network reporter Abi-Gay Smythe. In Art videoshe reports that electronic passports will be available to Jamaicans on March 31.
The Passports, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA)the Jamaican government agency mentioned in the TikTok video, wrote on March 28 that the country will start issuing new electronic passports from March 31.
More than 150 countries already use electronic passports. All ePassports around the world are marked with the same symbol on the front cover, which looks a circle inside a rectangle divided in half.
The chip in the US passport stores a unique identification number, personal information displayed on the passport’s photo page, a digital version of the photo to be used by facial recognition technology at the point of entry, and a digital signature designed to protect data. from rework.
“If the chip fails, the passport remains a valid travel document until it expires,” the State Department says. “The officer at the port of entry will process you as if you had a passport without a chip.”
Passport cards used for land or sea travel between the United States, Mexico, Canada and Bermuda are not electronic passports.
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