October 2008 saw Gemalto selected by the Imprimerie Nationale, France’s national printer, to supply its Coesys Issuance solution for personalizing the second-generation of French
biometric passport with digital biometric information like fingerprints.
This success strengthens Gemalto's position as a leading player in the field of secure document personalization, where the company has already deployed over 30 systems worldwide.
All European Member States must include digital biometric information in every passport issued from June 2009, a deadline France has been able to meet.
French biometric passport
France has been an early member of the
US Visa Waiver Program which allows French citizens to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.
As of end of June 2009, all French passports are fitted with a micro-controller that contains biographic data and the holder's portrait in digital format, as well as
2 fingerprints. In the enrollment phase, 8 fingers are captured, even though only 2 prints will be kept.
e passport, along with the national ID card allow for free rights of movement and residence in any of the states of the European Union and European Economic Area.
The French passport has a
validity of 10 years for adults (18+) and only 5 years for minors. It costs €86 for an adult, €42 (minor of 15-18 years) and €17 (minor of less than 15) as of December 2016.
The Imprimerie Nationale issues around three million biometric passports per year.
French residence permit
As of May 2012, the French residence permit (TSE or
Titre de Séjour pour Etranger) now incorporates two fingerprints in addition to the bearer's portrait in the microprocessor located on the back of the credit-card size card.
This document is a renewable permanent residence permit allows its holder to live in France for up to 10 years.
The same issuance solution from Gemalto is enabling the personalization of an annual production of 800,000 residence permits.
New French driver's license
As of September 2013, The new French driver's license is replacing the traditional pink paper document.
Imprimerie Nationale also selected Gemalto’s Coesys Issuance solution to personalize the new document in-house.
Read the Press Release: Imprimerie Nationale Selects Gemalto's Personalization Solution for France's New Biometric Passports