The U.S. is making a major change in passport design and security, calling it the 'Next Generation Passport.' Some have already been issued, and all 29 passport-issuing centers will have the required new printers by August.
One major new security feature is repeating the passport number as a perforation through all pages of the book, as well as a stronger plastic data page with the picture and readable codes. The passport holder's picture will now be lasered onto the page in black and white, rather than color, a feature that may aid some optical recognition systems.
Inside the book, there are updated art and colors showcasing imagery of U.S. architecture, history, culture, landscapes and traditions.
Starting with first rollouts a year ago, two million of the new passports have been issued, but until the last printers are in place in August, both forms will be issued. The State Department says there's no reason to renew early; the old book meets and exceeds current security requirements.