RogerBW's Blog

New Passport 11 August 2016

My passport was a few months away from expiry, so when I got back from the latest foreign trip I renewed it. It only took two weeks, which isn't bad, though I think the Passport Office might take a tip or two from an enthusiastic amateur; their professional advisors don't seem to be doing a terribly good job.

For example, it's true, the envelope doesn't say "Here Is Your New Passport" on the outside. But what else would a reasonably discerning thief make of an envelope that contained a stiffish rectangle of about the right size (no blanking card), and had this printed on the back?

(My more knowledgeable readers will immediately recognise Rssj-Skkt-Yhzx as one of the lesser-known Invocations of the Nameless One. Perhaps fortunately, modern human vocal apparatus is incapable of pronouncing it correctly.)

Oh, and the passport itself has a helpful sticker:

The information leaflet says "The label on the back of your passport was used during the production process and can now be removed". I assume that this means it's used as a status tag of some sort, to indicate "this passport has had its chip inserted" or something similar. Seems sloppy, even so.

On the other hand the chip has been moved further into the passport so that it's harder to build a fake passport round a recovered chip. That's reasonably sensible.

Oh, yeah: "The information on the chip is stored securely and protected by encryption." No, really. Fortunately in the UK we don't yet have fingerprints in our passports as well as everything else, though much of the world now does.

Tags: real life

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