The Kingdom of Bahrain launched its first-ever ePassport in March of this year, bringing the document into the modern age of electronic passports. It is fully compliant with all international standards. The new passport blends visual images that celebrate Bahrain’s heritage with images of its prosperous future, and it integrates cutting-edge security features to protect it from fraud. (The country’s passport was last redesigned in 2011.)

There are four versions of the new ePassport: Regular, Diplomatic, Travel, and Special

Safe placement of the ePassport’s electronic chip

While many countries embed the electronic chip in the cover of their ePassports, the chip in Bahrain’s ePassport is embedded in the polycarbonate data page, which is protected by seven or eight layers of polymers—the highest level of security for the passport page most often targeted by counterfeiters.

The electronic chip is embedded in the datapage, not the passport cover.

Art depicting life in Bahrain, past and present

The 66-page booklet depicts key symbols of Bahrain’s heritage, past and present. These images include horses, falcons, and the “beautiful Faskar fish” as well as art representing modern day Bahrain, such as images of well-known urban buildings and the skyline of Manama, Bahrain’s capitol.

Visa page depicting governance

Important astronomical features are also celebrated in the passport’s design within the UV on the visa pages. These include the Argo Navus constellation (of the past), as well as the star of Suhail and the Canopus star – two of the brightest stars in the night sky.

An ultra-modern touch

Bahrain’s ePassport is the world’s first passport to feature a hashtag: #teambahrain, to indicate a shared goal of building a better life for every Bahraini.

#teambahrain is the first hashtag to appear in any passport

State-of-the-art security features

Bahrain’s new ePassport has security features that provide the highest level of security. Such features include:

  • MIRAGE™ is a window feature that replicates the portrait of the passport holder.
    It protects the structure of the document and the holder’s portrait, helping to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent alteration. During document authentication, the passport holder’s portrait disappears to reveal a watermark when viewed against transmitted light. (Mirage combines five methods of security, making it extremely difficult to reproduce.)

MIRAGE™ protects the portrait of the passport holder

  • UV images of the skyline of Bahrain’s capital Manama as well as the Al Fateh Grand Mosque.
  • HID’s security feature Safelink™ protects the passport hinge, it consists of a continuous UV print pattern that runs through the whole data page construction, appearing in and augmenting the clear windows and window based security features.

  • Under the ultraviolet light, every page has unique “moving” design elements, including a horse that appears to gallop when one flips through the passport.
  • Tactile embossing
  • Moving microtext
  • Reversed microtext
  • Rainbow printing.

A gradual rollout of the ePassport

Authorities in Bahrain plan to roll out the new ePassport first to those whose passports are set to expire, with a goal to complete the rollout within five years.  

After all individuals whose passports are expiring have been issued an ePassport officials will consider instituting an “express” service for those who want to switch over to the new passports prior to their current documents expiring. Until then, all passports will remain valid until their expiry date.

Sources/References:

Kingdom of Bahrain

HID

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