By Simon Hradecky and Peter SymondsUK passport to become biometric, as passport numbers become more common, after 2020, according to the government.
In a move that was welcomed by the civil liberties group Liberty, the Home Office said it would begin rolling out a biometric version of the passport in the first quarter of 2020, replacing existing passports that require a fingerprint.
The change follows a decision by the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to scrap the current passport that is widely used to travel abroad, but will still require a biometrics card for entry.
It follows a review of passports by the British government last year, which found that the current system was outdated and unnecessary.
The government has said it will begin rolling the biometric system out in 2020.
A spokesperson for the Home Affairs Select Committee said: “The Home Secretary made the decision to scrap her predecessor’s biometric passports and will now introduce a biographic passport.
The move follows a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year which found the current passports are outdated and are not widely used.”
A spokesperson said:”The UK Government has identified that passports are no longer required to meet the security needs of many people and businesses.
We are therefore announcing the introduction of a biographical passport to replace existing passports and replace the current biometric approach with a bioreferencing system.”
The new passport will cost between £16 and £28 and will be issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
The announcement follows a recent increase in the number of UK passport numbers, with the number rising to about 10,000 for passports issued in April.
However, it is unclear whether the new biometric cards will replace existing biometric numbers, which require a signature.
The biometric card will not be available for the general public until 2020.