There are commemorative coins and banknotes but did you ever hear about commemorative passports? Let me enlighten you. There are commemorative passports, but they are scarce. I know about these examples, which I will introduce here. If you think there are more, please let me know. Commemorative Passports History
USA: American Revolution Bicentennial 1776 — 1976
The 1976 Bicentennial passport is smaller. Prettier. Easier to keep clean. Its cover, a new, more durable leather-grained vinyl material in dark blue, corresponding to the field of the US flag, is replacing the lighter “horizon blue” of passports issued from 1961 through 1975. and the dull green of the ones before that.
The foil stamping of the lettering and Great Seal is done in silver-colored aluminum rather than gold. On the front cover is the inscription, “Bicentennial 1776-1976”; on the back is the Bicentennial seal. Commemorative Passports History
There’s a new look inside the Bicentennial passport, too. Its interior pages feature a Liberty Bell pattern printed with a specially-formulated red and blue ink. A grid pattern is printed on the visa pages to encourage the orderly stamping of entry and exit stamps.
And for the first time, conforming to international practice, the passport is bilingual. The message from the Secretary of State, the captions of the identification data, and the titles of the amendments and endorsements page appear in both English and French.
The passport fee in 1976 was $10 plus an execution fee of $3. The passport had only twenty pages and was valid for five years. The Bicentennial was issued only during the calendar year 1976. Commemorative Passports History
USA: Benjamin Franklin – 200 years US Consular Service
In 1993 the blue US passport became green again to honor Benjamin Franklin and the 200th anniversary of the US Consular Service.
From April 1993 to March 1994, this special passport was issued. According to the statistics of the foreign office, 4.2 million copies of this type have been given.
Andorra: 700 years Andorra 1278 — 1978
There is not much information on this Andorra passport. It had 32 pages, and only the cover mentioned the anniversary. The travel document was issued only in 1978. The population of Andorra in 1980 was only 35.460; hence such a commemorative type must be scarce. Commemorative Passports History
Andorra is the rarest of all three special issues, followed by the Bicenntinial and the Franklin. So far, I only know that these two countries have issued a special passport edition. If you know of others, please let me know!
Finland 2017 – 100 Years Independence
The back cover features an embossed 100th-anniversary logo, as does UV text on the ID card. From my understanding, the current passports from 2022 have the anniversary logo too.
Poland 2018 – 100 Years Independence
Like the Finnish passport, the Polish anniversary features are also in the current 2022 passport types.
A Swiss colleague suggested once to the Swiss government to issue a special passport edition on 700 years Ruetlischwur – he never got a reply.
It takes too much effort and might be mainly a security printing issue that states do not make such commemorative passports anymore. Such special editions make splendid collectibles. Commemorative Passports History
As I know, Finland 2017 issued a new passport to celebrate 100 anniversory. https://www.consilium.europa.eu/prado/en/FIN-AO-06002/index.html
Hi Bernie. You are absolutely correct. I even reported about it but it was out of my mind. Thanks for the input. Cheers, Tom
I agree Tom, commemorative passports are rare. I have examples of the two US passports in your article.
Congrats, you covered 2/3 of what is possible, Brian.