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Australia has a new passport: ‘Another hidden tax’

Australian citizens will get a brand new passport this year.

A composite image of the new Australian passport and passengers standing in a queue to board a plane at Sydney airport.
Aussies are getting a brand new passport in 2023. (Source: DFAT / Getty)

Aussies who have applied for a new passport will be getting a brand new design this year after the government launched the ‘R Series’.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the new passport was more secure than the previous ‘P Series’ that had been issued since 2014.

“The Australian passport is regularly upgraded to protect passport holders’ identity and personal information in line with international best practice,” DFAT said.

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“The R Series includes advanced security features to prevent counterfeiting and identity theft, and ultimately, keep Australians safe.”

What’s new about the passport?

In an Aussie first, the passport photo page will now be made from a tough, high-security, layered plastic.

The R Series also incorporates work by Indigenous artists and the visa pages show iconic Australian landscapes.

DFAT said the new passports began rolling out in stages from September last year, but some people will still receive the previous version even if they ordered a new passport after September 2022.

How have Aussies reacted?

In the comments section of a TikTok by ryanoctosa, Aussies seemed to feel the new design was a little lacklustre, while others were concerned the new passport may cost even more than the previous version.

“Oh great, guess a passport will cost $500+ now. Another hidden tax,” one user commented.

DFAT said the new passport would cost the same as the previous version. However, Aussie passports are renowned for their high price.

The cost to get a new passport is $325 for those over 16 years of age, or $164 for those under 16.

However, if you're in a hurry to get a new passport you’ll need to fork out an additional $237 for priority processing. And if you’re an adult who loses their passport while overseas, you’ll be charged another $146.

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