OTTAWA, June 29 (UPI) -- Canada is rolling out its first redesigned passport in a decade, one that will carry a microchip -- and a heftier price tag -- travel officials said.
Passport Canada said the new ePassports will improve security and make it more difficult to forge a Canadian passport -- long a target of international forgers because Canadian passports carry with them visa-free entry into many countries.
Not only will the new chip enhance security, the travel documents will feature images of classic Canadian heritage such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and iconic geographic scenes, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said Saturday. The images will double as additional security since they're watermarked, another anti-forgery device.
The new technology and improved aesthetics won't come without a cost to travelers, however.
The nation's existing five-year passport costs $87. That will increase to $120 and a new 10-year passport will be sold for $160.
Canadians aren't required to turn in old passports. Those remain valid until their expiration date, at which point holders will need to upgrade to the new, more expensive documentation.
The new passports will be available starting Monday, Canada Day.