Canadian passports are going high-tech. All new passports issued starting July 1, 2013, will conform to the standard electronic passport protocols.
An ePassport contains the holder’s personal information on a chip embedded in the passport. A CBC report notes that Canada is the last of the G7 nations to adopt these passports. About 100 countries currently issue them.
Canada will also offer 10-year passports for the first time, at a rate of $160. Previously, all passport holders have been limited to 5 years. A 5-year passport option will still be offered (at a rate of $120), and all passports for those under the age of 16 will be valid for 5 years. The fee increase is the first increase since 2001, other than a $2 shipping charge added in 2005.
Current holders of Canadian passports are not required to immediately replace them. They will remain valid until their listed expiration date.