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Our new passports arrived today, less than two weeks after we sent in our applications. We are valid to travel through October 2015.

Although ours do not contain RFID chips, there are some differences in the new passports.

  1. Digital photo: they photo I sent in was scanned. In the process, it lost a lot of its contrast, so I look like a mound of hair over a pair of beady eyes and a smile floating in pinkish space. I have neither eyebrows nor cheeks and my nose is nearly invisible.
  2. Holograms: the ID page is covered with a number of US-themed holograms that make it very difficult to read the printed information and see the photo. I guess as long as machine can read the codes along the bottom, that's all that matters.
  3. Font: the computer generated text on the new ID page is in a smaller sans serif font. It's much harder to read the passport number and other data in the condensed numerals they've used.
  4. New language: the headings in the old passport were in English and French. The new version adds Spanish.
  5. Important Information: expanded by one page to cover pages 2-7. The revised and reorganised text includes less detail about the topics mentioned, but lots of URLs. This is all printed in purple, instead of the old dark blue.

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