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Passport Card for the US Department of State

Front and Back Sample of U.S. Passport Card

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative strives to improve border security between Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. An element of this initiative includes the creation of a Passport/Border card to replace less secure credentials, such as driver’s licenses, which had previously been accepted at border crossing points for travel within North America. The design of this new Passport card included many physical security features, such as a hologram, special inks and printing, opacity marks as well as an RFID inlay. Because of this full feature set, and a durability requirement of ten years, the manufacturing of this card is a very demanding process.

A major provider of secure credentialing systems to governments and enterprises worldwide, partnered with Vizinex to develop an RFID inlay that met both the RFID performance and the demanding card manufacturing requirements. Over a relatively brief period, an inlay was developed and tested, which passed the requirements. The card went into product in the second quarter of 2008, and Vizinex delivered over 6 million inlays during the following twelve months.

In early 2009, a decision was made to upgrade the RFID inlay and other security features of the card, and, once again, the provider turned to Vizinex for its design expertise. A new inlay was developed, tested and qualified, and is now in production for the second generation of US Passport cards.