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Travel plans? Get machine readable passports, Hand-written passports invalid from today

Moments for using hand written passports for travel purposes, are passé now! Government has ordered invalidity of the hand written passports, and a person who is a holder of one, cannot travel abroad on it, from today. The Government has passed a directive and from Wednesday the hand written passports will be overruled by the bar-code machine readable ones.

November 24th sees a major change announced, by the license authorities. The Government has passed a directive ordering the people to get their hand written passports changed to machine readable passports with bar codes. Hand written passports had been issued before 2001 and now it’s time to change them, announced the authorities. The validity of the handwritten passports expires on Wednesday, November 24th.passport

This directive was passed in agreement with the recommendations laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Government is agreeable to the suggestion of incorporating biometric data in documents that are needed for travel purposes.

An official has confirmed their invalidity from today onwards and has stated that they can’t be used for travelling abroad. This practice of travelling with machine readable passports with bar codes will make sure that there is no tampering of laws and also that the fraudulent practices are kept under control.

The time limit has been set by the ICAO and a circular issued by the Ministry of External Affairs is said to have stated “Foreign governments may deny a visa or entry to a person travelling on a non-machine readable passport from November 25”. The government had decided to discontinue hand-written passports and will be promoting them to be converted to machine readable ones (MRP) with biometric data of the passport holder.

The non-MRP holders are the ones who had got their passports issued for a period of 20 years in the mid 1990’s and their passports are valid today also. An estimate of records shows that nearly 2.50 lakh handwritten passports were still in circulation, all across the country, this October-end. All these need to be re-issued and before the November 24th and have to be changed to machine readable passports. You can check out details regarding this and much more on the official website of Passport authority of India

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