The Next Generation United States Passport: A Quick Look.
Although the next generation passport books have been issued since 2021 and the current electronic passport books — which are slowly being phased out — are considered to be secure, it incorporates new types of technology “to produce a more robust passport with enhanced security features, such as a polycarbonate data page, laser-engraved personalization, and updated artwork.”
The main reason why the changeover is gradual is because existing electronic passport printers are slowly being replaced with next generation passport printers at all official passport agencies and centers.
The most noticeable changes to the new next generation passport book are the:
Polycarbonate data page
Location of the endorsement page, which is now on page 3
Visa pages, which have also been updated with detailed line work and ink colors which showcase imagery of notable architecture, history, culture, landscapes, and traditions of the United States
Additional microtext and laser engraving
Alphanumeric passport number, which begins with a letter and is followed by eight numbers — and is located both in the top right corner of the data page and included throughout the next generation passport book on the bottom of each page
Reduction of two pages in all passport books, as the standard size of the:
Next generation passport book is 26 pages; whereas the current electronic passport contains 28 pages
Larger next generation passport book is 50 pages; whereas the larger version of the current electronic passport contains 52 pages
Final Boarding Call
The new next generation passports are currently being issued in book form only at this time until the passport card is also upgraded and modernized — of which no specific time or date was announced.
If you currently hold an electronic passport book, you will not be required to upgrade to a next generation passport book, as both passport books and passport cards remain valid for international travel until their date of expiration. You may continue to travel with your current electronic passport book or passport card without a problem.
You cannot request a specific version of the passport book; and you are not guaranteed that you will receive a next generation passport book. Since electronic passports continue to meet and exceed international passport security standards, both types of passports can currently be used for international travel.