Feldman's Photography
Photo of passport covers

By Appointment Only



12000 N. Nebraska Ave.

Tampa, FL  33612


What is a Biometric Passport?
How do Biometric Photos Work?

Biometric Photo Requirements

Adhered to by Tampa's

Number One Passport Studio - Feldman's Photography

Many passports now issued in the US and many other countries are ‘biometric’. Biometric details are those which are unique to you – like your fingerprint, the iris of your eye, and your facial features.

Biometric details in these passports have a chip inside which contain information about the holder’s face – such as the distances between eyes, nose, mouth and ears. These details are taken from the passport photograph that you supply. They can then be used to identify the passport-holder.

The chip also holds the information that is printed on the personal details page of your passport.

The chip containing the biometric and personal details has an antenna that can be read electronically.

Biometric checks can be used at border controls, especially at automated passport control gates, and also by the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) to check the image on passport renewal applications against images held on record.

The data on the chip is protected in three ways, with:

  1. A ‘digital signature’, which shows that the data is genuine and which country has issued the passport
  2. Basic Access Control, a ‘chip protocol’ that prevents the data being read without the passport holder’s knowledge
  3. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), a digital technique that confirms the data on the chip was written by IPS and has not been changed

The chips can only be read at a few centimeters’ distance from a chip reader – so they cannot be accidentally read.

You can find out what’s on the chip in your passport since each IPS Regional Office has a Biometric Passport Reader. You can use this to view the personal information that is stored on the chip in your passport. The information you would see is the same as that on the personal details page of the passport. This is a free self-service facility in the public area of each IPS Regional Office.

To see what the biometric logo and chip looks like click here.


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