Hand-written passports of Indian citizens will no longer be valid, a directive issue by the government said on Wednesday. The government had asked those having hand-written passports to get machine-readable ones having bar codes by November 24. The government had decided to discontinue hand-written passports in accordance with the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to incorporate biometric data in the machine readable travel documents.
Hand-written passports have become invalid for travelling abroad from today, said a government official. The machine readable passports have greater protection against fraudulent practices and tampering. Hand-written passports were issued prior to 2001.