MP reminds constituents about new ePassport

Cathy McLeod: new ePassport offers greater protection for owners

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod reminds constituents the new ePassport will be available on July 1.

For those who are looking to renew their passport this year or apply for the first time, starting on July 1, the new Canadian electronic passport will be available for adult applicants with an option for a five- or 10-year ePassport, while children’s ePassports will be issued for a maximum of five years.”

The Canadian ePassport will have an electronic chip embedded in the back cover of the book. The chip adds an extra layer of security to the passport and makes it more tamper-proof.

The chip will store the same personal information that is detailed on page 2 of the passport, the photo and a country-specific digital security feature that proves the passport was issued by the Canadian government.

When information is first stored on the chip in the Canadian ePassport, the chip is electronically locked. Even if someone were to attempt to tamper with the data on the chip, McLeod says the chip would indicate the lock had been broken and the fraud would be detected.

ePassports are currently in use in some 95 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and all have reported no chip failures. In Canada, we have conducted a pilot project since January 2009 by issuing more than 50,000 diplomatic and special ePassports, and no problems have been reported.”

In the unlikely event that the chip cannot be read, McLeod noted the passport will still be valid.

Once the Canadian ePassport has been fully implemented in July, everyone will be allowed to submit a new application if you wish to replace your non-electronic passport with an ePassport. The only prerequisite is you will be required to pay the full fee and the unused validity period on your old passport will not be transferred to your new passport.”

For adults applying in Canada, the fee for a five-year ePassport will be $120, and the fee for a 10-year ePassport will be $160. The 10-year ePassport will actually cost Canadians less per year of validity than the current non-electronic five-year passport ($87).

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