Australian passport: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New 'N' Series Australian ePassport

Australian passports are issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, both in Australia and overseas. Since 1984, Australian passports are issued only to citizens of Australia.[1]



Australian ePassport - 'M' series
Australian ePassport - 'N' series
  • The 'X' series passport issued in 1917 is one of the earliest passports. It was during World War I that monitoring and identifying those crossing international borders became critical to the security of Australia and its allies[2];
  • The War Precautions Act 1914– 1915 required that all persons over 16 years of age, on leaving the Commonwealth, possess a passport.[2]
  • The words Australian Passport replaced British Passport on the cover of the Australian passport in 1949.[2] Two types of passport were issued:[2]
    1. B Series passports were issued (within Australia only) to British subjects who were not Australian citizens.
    2. C Series passports were issued only to Australian citizens.
  • Before 1983, a married woman's passport application had to be authorised by her husband.[2]
  • In 1983, the Department partnered with Australia Post to allow the issuance of Australian passports at most Australia Post outlets.[2]
  • In 1984, Australian passports included machine readable lines and were the first to have a laminate built into the document.[2] The same year Australian passports begun to be issued exclusively to Australian citizens.[1]
  • In 1986, the introduction of Single Identity passports meant children could no longer be included on their parent's passport.[2]
  • Until 1988, a woman could apply for and receive a passport in her married name, before she was actually married.[2]
  • The 'L' series passport personal data pages initially included a photograph and a cut out piece of paper with the holders signature under a sheet of adhesive laminate
  • From approximately 1998, the personal data page for 'L' series passports was colour laser printed and under a sheet of adhesive laminate
  • The 'M' series passport was issued from 27 November 2003, which included enhanced security features. The personal data page of these passports is printed by ink-jet onto the adhesive surface of the security laminate, the laminate itself containing a holographic design.
  • From October 2005, the 'M' series was issued as a biometric or e-passport. An electronic passport logo was printed under the passport number on the personal data page.
  • Since May 2009 the 'N' series has been issued as a biometric or e-passport. The passport is black instead of blue and has a slight font and case change to the word 'Passport'. Additional fraud counter-measures have been included in the passport including a 'Ghost Image' and 'Retro-Reflective Floating Image' on the laminated page. Each page features images of Australia printed throughout the document making every visa page unique and more difficult to reproduce.[3]

Types of passports

  • Standard Passport (Black Cover) - Issued for ordinary travel, such as vacations and business trips, it has 32 visa pages with 10 years validity for Adults and 5 years validity for Children's passports (Series M and prior). Passports issued prior to the new series N passport had a blue cover.
    • Frequent Traveller Passport - These are issued to frequent travellers, such as business people (64 pages). These cost slightly more than a standard passport.
    • Senior's Passport - Issued for Australian citizens aged 75 years and over for half the cost of a standard passport, it has 32 visa pages with 5 years validity.
    • Senior's Frequent Traveller Passport - Issued for Australian citizens aged 75 years and over for half the cost of a Frequent Traveller Passport, it has 64 visa pages
  • Diplomatic Passport (Red Cover) - Issued to Australian diplomats, top ranking government officials and diplomatic couriers. (32 pages)
  • Official Passport (Grey-asparagus Cover) - Issued to individuals representing the Australian government on official business. (32 pages)

Physical appearance

Australian passports have the Australian coat of arms emblazoned in the centre of the front cover. The word "Passport" is inscribed at the bottom of the cover just above a standard biometric symbol. The coat of arms is featured in the centre of the cover. The standard passport contains 32 pages, but it can be issued in a 64 page format upon request for an additional fee.


Identity Information Page

Australia M series ePassport information page
Australia N series ePassport information page

The Australia Passport includes the following data:

  • Photo of Passport Holder
  • Type (P for passport)
  • Code of Issuing State (AUS)
  • Document No.
  • Name
  • Nationality (AUSTRALIAN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Sex
  • Place of Birth
  • Date of Issue
  • Holder's Signature
  • Date of Expiry
  • Authority (AUSTRALIA if issued in Australia, or the name of the issuing diplomatic mission if issued overseas - eg. LONDON[4])

The information page ends with the Machine Readable Zone.

Passport note

The passports contain a note from the issuing state that is addressed to the authorities of all other states, identifying the bearer as a citizen of that state and requesting that he or she be allowed to pass and be treated according to international norms. The note inside Australian passports states:

The Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, being the representative in Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, requests all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer, an Australian Citizen, to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford him or her every assistance and protection of which he or she may stand in need.


The passport is printed in English. French translation is found on the identity information, observations, chip centre and notice pages.


  • Microprinting - for example, horizontal lines on the notice/bearer's information pages are made up of microprinted words.
    • In L-series passports, the first verse of Advance Australia Fair is used.
    • In M-series passports, the words are from Waltzing Matilda.
    • In N-series passports, the lines are made up of the word "Australia" repeated.
    • N-series passports also feature microprinted words from Clancy of the Overflow on the visa pages.
  • The laminate of the identity information page on M-series and later passports contains retro-reflective floating images of kangaroos.


Australian ePassport chip page

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade introduced the biometric 'ePassport' on 24 October 2005.

The ePassport is very similar to the previous 'M' series Australian passport, differing only in having an embedded RFID microchip in the centre page and a gold international ePassport symbol on the front cover.

The chip embedded in the centre pages stores the holder's digitised photograph, name, gender, date of birth, nationality, passport number, and the passport expiry date. This is the same information that appears on the printed information page of every passport.

Facial recognition technology is being introduced to coincide with the release of the ePassport. This technology will be used to improve identity verification and reduce identity-related fraud.

Refusal to issue passport

Under the Passports Act 1938, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has the power to refuse a passport, on grounds such as national security or health.

See also


External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address