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Travel agents and tourists are figuring out whether they need to change passports with the wrong font

Travel agents and tourists are discussing the font in the machine-readable line of 5-year international passports that does not comply with the regulations. The reason arose after one of the Russians was not allowed to go abroad on February 10 due to the lack of gender designation in the machine-readable record. He received his international passport in the summer of 2023. The document was confiscated from the passenger, and in the report it was written that it was unusable due to a “violation of the algorithm for forming a machine-readable zone.”

Retail representatives discovered that many passports had the wrong font. According to Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs dated March 31, 2021 No. 186, when filling out this data, OCR-B font size 1 must be used.

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However, in many old-style passports (without biometrics), issued in 2023–2024, the MCHZ is filled in with a different font. This is noticeable, in particular, when comparing the numbers 1 and 7. The unit in these documents is written with a bottom line (should be without it), and the seven is written with a straight rather than curved leg.

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“Having noticed this, I sent potential tourists to the place where the passport was issued,” the travel agent told the editors of Tourdom.ru. – The document was seized for examination. After 2 days they said that it was invalid, and they reissued it literally in an hour.”

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The situation is being discussed in the telegram chat for tourism industry specialists “TourDom Sources”. Subscribers note that many of their clients have already flown abroad with such documents, and there were no problems.

But there are other cases: “My tourists at passport control in Yekaterinburg upon arrival could not read the entry due to the wrong font. They were safely allowed through, but they were reprimanded. We recommended that they contact the place where they issued their passport.”

Subscribers agreed that if there is the slightest doubt, it is better to replace the document on time than to lose your vacation.

In the MFC of one of the districts of Moscow, a TourDom.ru correspondent was explained that last year there was indeed a technical glitch in the production of passports: “If you have a passport with the wrong font at the MChZ, you need to go to where it was issued, they will check it there. The document may need to be replaced.”

They promised to produce a new passport promptly, within 1–3 business days. You need to bring a photo with you, replacement will be free.

At the same time, the lawyer believes that a citizen can check his personal data himself, but no one has ever warned Russians about checking machine-readable records. Nothing is said about her in Government Decree No. 2090 of 09.12.23which lists the signs of invalidity of foreign passports, which are the basis for its confiscation.

The editors sent a request to the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Source: Tourdom

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