United Kingdom British Passport : Series 23 (2015 — 2019) Biometric, EU 'Series B : Creative United Kingdom'
Series B e-passport was introduced through a phased implementation from December 2015. For security reasons, the biodata page (personal details page) forms one continuous sheet of paper with the rear end page and is at the front of the passport. The cover design remained the same as Series A, with minor changes to the cover material. The number of pages of a standard passport was increased from 32 to 34, and the 50-page 'jumbo' passport replaced the previous 48-page business passport. New security features included rich three-dimensional UV imagery, cross-page printing and a single-sheet bio-data page joined with the back cover. At the time of its introduction, no other passport offered visa-free access to more countries than the UK Series B British passport.

The theme of the Series B passport was 'Creative United Kingdom', and HMPO described the Series B artwork as the most intricate ever featured in a British passport. The new passport contains images depicting just some of the successes in innovation, architecture, art, and performance that the UK has brought to the world. Each double-spread page set featured artwork celebrating 500 years of achievements in art, architecture and innovation in the UK. Ordnance Survey maps were also printed inside featuring places related to the imagery. A portrait of William Shakespeare was embedded in each page as a watermark. For innovation, these include Stephenson’s Rocket and the London Underground. To represent architectural excellence, the work of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and modern-day architecture such as the Falkirk Wheel are shown. In art, the work of John Constable, as well as current greats Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor, are included. William Shakespeare and the Globe Theatre are also featured to represent the very best of what the UK has brought to the performing arts.

De La Rue has got a 10-year contract with HM Passport Office designing and producing the British Passports starting in 2010 as well as the new 'Creative UK' passport in 2015. The passport was also designed by De La Rue. The new passport uses the latest and most secure printing and design techniques. This includes advances in security printing, inks, watermarks and holograms, alongside a continuous personal details page, which is a method of construction that has never previously been seen.

With the sole exception of emergency passports which are printed and issued by the British diplomatic missions, all other types of British passports have been printed and issued by Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) in the United Kingdom since May 2015.

One continuous sheet of paper is used for the laminated personal details page, through to the page that is adjoined to the back cover.

A secondary image of the passport holder features on page 3 of the passport. When magnified one can see that this image is constructed from the letters and numbers that make up the passport holder’s surname and date of birth.

"The passport is a unique symbol of national identity and a critical piece of national infrastructure. As such, there will be a huge expectation on the development of this design, which is likely to become a defining symbol of Britain's new identity and relationship with the world." - Julian Payne, De La Rue head design team, 2017.

Passport Age Group Online Application / Paper Form Validity (Year)
Adult (16 and over) standard 34-page passport £72.00 10
Adult (16 and over) jumbo 50-page passport £85.50 10
Child (under 16) passport £46.00 5
Passport for people born on or before 2 September 1929 Free 10

Home Office has approved plans to raise the price of the passport with effect from 27 March 2018. The changes are underpinned by new fee-setting powers given to HM Passport Office under the Immigration Act 2016 to give it the resources it needs to process six million applications a year. The Home Office says it wants to shift the cost of passport services onto travellers to make it less of a burden on taxpayers.
Passport Age Group Online Application Paper Form Application From the Post Office Validity (Year)
Adult (16 and over) standard 34-page passport £75.50 £85.00 10
Adult (16 and over) jumbo 50-page passport £85.50 £95.00 10
Child (under 16) passport £49.00 £58.50 5
Passport for people born on or before 2 September 1929 Free Free 10

Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State
Requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance, and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.


The passport contains high-security watermarks. Embedded into each of the visa pages is a three-dimensional watermark of William Shakespeare, and a bright, two-dimensional watermark of a writer’s scroll, a quill, and the corresponding page number. The personal details page contains a three-dimensional watermark of the Gipsy Moth IV boat as well as the four floral motifs that represent the UK – the rose for England, daffodil for Wales, thistle for Scotland, and shamrock for Northern Ireland. 

Perforated passport numbering
The passport number that is printed on page 1 of the passport, as well as the personal details page, also appears in perforation throughout the passport at the bottom of each page. The perforated number contains different shaped holes which become smaller as you progress through the passport.

Embedded security fibres
These appear on every page of the passport. In daylight, these fibres consist of red and blue alternate bands. When exposed to a UV light source, each segment fluoresces in a different colour.

Sewing thread
The passport is bound using a security thread that consists of red, white and blue twisted strands. When exposed to UV light, each strand will fluoresce.


For centuries, the United Kingdom has led the way in the creative sector. In recognition of the achievements in art, architecture, innovation and performance from the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the theme of the new passport is ‘Creative United Kingdom’. Each double-page spread within the passport features a unique design celebrating just some of the pioneering work in the creative industries throughout the last 500 years:
  • John Harrison
  • John Constable
  • The Penny Black
  • Steam Transportation
  • Sir Giles Gilbert Scott
  • The London Underground
  • Elisabeth Scott
  • Antony Gormley
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Festival Culture
  • Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace
  • Brilliant Buildings

A portrait of William Shakespeare is used for the watermark on each of these pages in recognition of his status as the greatest playwright in history. Ordnance Survey maps also feature throughout the passport showing places related to the images on each page. 

SERIES DESCRIPTION European Union ePassport 2015—2019
VARIETY DESCRIPTION Version 2, Biometric, Creative United Kingdom
CITIZENSHIP / NATIONALITY GBR - British Citizen (Normal UK Passport)
GBD - British Overseas Territories Citizens
GBO - British Overseas Citizens
GBS - British Subjects
GBP - British Protected Persons
GBN - British National Overseas (Issued from 14/06/2011)

If issued on behalf of a Commonwealth country, "Commonwealth Citizen".
COAT-OF-ARMS Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the style used by Her Majesty's Government from 1953.
FIRST ISSUE 07/12/2015
LAST ISSUE 29/03/2019
VALIDITY LENGTH Adults (16 and above), a maximum of 10 years.
Children (0 to 15), a maximum of 5 years.
Adults, normally 10 years up to a maximum of 10 years 9 months. Children, normally 5 years up to a maximum of 5 years 9 months.
RENEWAL Not permitted
Business passports have 50 pages.
FORMAT ICAO 88 × 125
The cover material is an acrylic-coated, paper-based substrate. 
COLOUR Burgundy
SIGNATURE Digital printed on the datapage.
Front Cover Community's Name

Country's Name


Document's Name

ICAO  ePassport Biometric Symbol
Interior of Front Cover Diplomatic request page / Royal Salutation.
1 The title page displays the document serial number. No page number is printed.

The principal text is in English, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, with equivalent text in languages of the other EU Member States.
2 Gipsy Moth IV sailing vessel surrounded by four floral emblems (rose, daffodil, thistle and shamrock); in addition to the multitone and electrotype, also Cornerstone®, Edgestone and (round-shaped, bright) 'SkyLight' watermarks.

Metallised area at the left side and beneath the holder's image - there it contains a unique serial number which is not the same as the passport's serial number.

The photograph was inkjet printing.
3 This page is reserved for official observations. Any observations will be printed by inkjet.

Different style electrotype watermark of the same sailing vessel and floral motifs as on the biodata page.
4 - 5 12-point key to the details recorded on the biographical details page and page 2.
Each point is in English, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and the other 21 official EU languages.
6 - 34 Portrait of Wiliam Shakespeare. The visa pages include in addition an electrotype watermark in the form of a writer's guill which includes the two-page numbers.

Each visa page in the 34-page passport is unique, with the design spreading across the two adjacent pages. Page 33 has no visible security fibres.
Interior of Back Cover Emergency contacts.


HM Passport Office, Introducing the new UK passport design
URL: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/473495/HMPO_magazine.pdf

Observations in passport
URL: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/118562/observations-passports.pdf