Through 2017 new eID cards and ePassports marking the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence have started to roll out.

Finland became an independent state in 1917 and over the course of the last century, its citizens have demonstrated courage and determination necessary to forge one of the most democratic and progressive nations. It is no surprise therefore, that creative skills and inspiration can be found in abundance in the design of the new ePassport and eID cards that were launched to coincide with Finland’s centennial.

Developed in cooperation with Gemalto’s security design team, each double page inside the passport shows different scenery from the north, with the Northern Lights and snowflakes appearing in the visible printwork and under UV. Elements characterising Finland also include the whooper swan, (the national bird of Finland), Finland’s coat of arms, a poem by Finnish poet Eino Leino and a lakeside landscape on the inner cover page of the passport.

The new passport incorporates a range of innovative security features. The user’s photograph is replicated five times within the document, using various techniques such as the Gemalto’s Sealys Window Lock where a negative ghost image is laser personalised into a metallic foil hidden in a transparent window. The holder’s personal information is also laser engraved on the edge of the polycarbonate page. The moiré effect printing technique, which creates the effect of a 3D image on a flat page, is also incorporated.

Applications for the new ePassport can be filed online, with applicants confirming their identity via national ID cards or BankID and uploading their digital photo directly from the photo studio to the online police application.

The overall design for the new biometric passport and national ID card was chosen on the basis of public consultation, combined with the close co-operation with Gemalto. With the new documents Finland has raised the bar on the level of protection provided for a centennial state and its forward-thinking citizens.