It's time for me to renew my UK passport, and as I'm still recognisably the same person as in the photo of my passport issued in 2001 all I need to do is sign the form they printed out from my online application (which basically just has my name, address, date and place of birth, and last passport number), include two recent photos of myself, my old passport, and £77.50.
All of which makes me wonder.... Passports nowadays have this wonderful RFID chip in the cover, but as I've continually held a passport since 1982 I have never been interviewed by any officials, had my fingerprints taken, or been photographed by anything more sophisticated than my local railway station photo booth. So what do they actually put on the RFID chip? And what is it about the chip that makes them charge more than three times the amount my last non-chip passport cost in 2001 (£24 if I remember correctly) if they've not got any more information to put on it than they had before? Is it just a money-making scheme by the government to fleece travellers?