New passports will have an embedded data chip on the information page protected by a poly-carbonate coating. This will help prevent your book from getting wet and bending, and if your passport be stolen, the chip will keep people from copying your page and falsifying an identity. The passport number will also be laser cut as tapered, perforated holes through pages—just one of several components of the "Next Generation" passport, including an artwork upgrade, new security features such as a watermark, "tactile features," and more "optically variable" inks. Some page designs will be raised, and ink will appear to be different colors at different angles.
Stricter rules for application
As of November 1, 2016 glasses are no longer allowed in passport photos, as glares reflecting off the lenses led to the State Department turning away thousands of applications because of bad photos. You're still allowed to wear glasses in your photo if you have a medical condition (just submit a doctor's note along with your application),
Pages will have numbers
2017 passport pages will also have numbers on them, which should help travelers keep track of roughly how much time they have to renew. (Some countries will not accept passports with fewer than four pages remaining.) Given that the government did away with extra passport pages in January 2016, a step like this makes sense.
Renewal may get easier
According to Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant secretary for passport services at the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the renewal process may also be getting a makeover. Sprague said that a new platform that will allow people to renew their passports online is "in the works," for 2017.
Also make sure you have at least 6 months remaining on your passport before leaving a foreign country.
Beware New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, and New Hampshire
There are four states that are “noncompliant” with the security standards outlined in the Real ID Act, which was enacted back in 2005, but is being implemented in stages.
People from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, and New Hampshire will need a passport to domestically travel some time in 2017.
I just sent in my renewal, so I know that online applications are not being accepted yet. It takes about 3 weeks for regular processing at this time. They also have expedited service, which is much faster.