• Gemalto is now part of the Thales Group, find out more.

French ePassport: a successful teamwork

​​​​​​​​​​​Version française 

A strong partnership with Imprimerie Nationale

In March 2006, the French Interior Ministry awarded the issuance of ePassports​ to state printer, the Imprimerie Nationale (IN), with an extremely short five-week delivery deadline. The new electronic passports had to store the holder’s facial image in a microprocessor and meet strict standards defined by the ICAO.

Alongside a handful of key French industry players, Gemalto worked closely with the IN to meet the deadline, providing its inlay integrating a microprocessor into the back cover of the passport with guaranteed 5-year durability, which matches perfectly with the physical and mechanical properties of paper-based coversheets and IN printing equipment. The IN also adopted Gemalto eTravel, the Gemalto’s native OS technology and its encrypting capabilities.

1,000,000 ePassports in just 5 months

Thanks to the strong working relationship between everyone involved, the deadline was met and the first ePassports using Gemalto technology rolled out in April 2006. By the end of September 2006, over 1 million French ePassports had been issued in a record five months. A total of 2 million ePassports were delivered by the end of 2006.​

  • The first generation of electronic startd in April 2006
  • The second generation of electronic and biometric passport started in June 2009.

Gemalto Issuance solution in 2008

In 2008, Imprimerie Nationale adopted Gemalto Issuance solution for:

  • the French electronic passport (now in its second generation)
  • the French residence permit
  • the new French driver's license​​ as of September 2013.

Discover our dossier on the French biometric passport and learn more on EAC (extended access control).