Tanzania’s e-passports are among the newest digital passport documents in the world, and they are getting recognition in part due to the inclusion of an emergency digital passport stored in the citizen’s smartphone. The ID documents, from HID Global, won best new e-passport in late March at the High Security Printing EMEA.
The digital passport in the smartphone allows a traveler to obtain the necessary document to return home or request a replacement passport without the need for further online checks
According to HID, “in just four months, Tanzania transitioned from awarding the contract to HID Global and its partners, Smurfit Kappa Security Concepts (previously DLRS Group Security Concepts), Absolute Graphics and Softnet, to completion.” The project started in early 2018.
The e-passport includes a polycarbonate data page, and according to a statement from the Tanzania embassy in Paris, the passport has “an optically variable feature and positive and negative embossing incorporating an MLI lens. The data page also carries an ICAO compliant secure RFID microcontroller chip and operating system with ICAO LDS 1.7 as well as BAC, EAC and the latest SAC/PACE security mechanisms, certified up to EAL6+.”
As well, according to the embassy, “the design of the booklet captures local themes and cultures across the visa pages, data page and end papers, helping to engender a sense of national pride in the carrier.”
Tanzania digital passports for smartphones
The African country began issuing the passport about a year ago, according to authorities from Tanzania, though it was unclear how many have been issued to citizens. The new e-passport technology and system enables holders of the e-passport to store an emergency digital passport on their smartphones, too. According to the embassy, that emergency digital passport, “verifiable electronically by the embassy, allows the traveler to obtain the necessary document to return home or request a replacement passport without the need for further online checks, filling out forms or other time-consuming tasks.”
That mobile emergency passport was built using HID’s mobile goID technology. According to country authorities, that’s not the only benefit of Tanzania’s e-passport — it also enables citizens to pass through automated border control stations. “The passport booklet is one component of an end to end system solution to support the enrollment, adjudication, personalization, issuance and authentication of the e-passport, plus border control and e Visa systems,” the embassy added.