New Danish Passports Biometric from New Year 2012

From 1 January 2012, new Danish passports must contain digital photos, fingerprints and signatures. In this way the security against forgery and misuse of passports is strengthened considerably. Present passports already contain a digital photo of the holder.

Holders of existing passports need not obtain a new one. Their current passport remains valid until the date of expiry.

The decision to introduce fingerprints in passports has been made at central level in the EU as part of the combat against terrorism, human trade, human trafficking, illegal immigration and other transnational crime. With the new biometric passport Danish citizens are secured the possibility to travel to countries which in the future will demand this type of passport for entry. 

With the new passport Danes will in the best way possible protected against someone stealing their identity and pretending to be them and against forgery of their passport. 

In order to issue the new passport, special equipment for taking photos and recording fingerprints and signature is necessary. The applications must be handed to and handled by specially authorized staff, who will have access to certain data in the Danish central citizens registry, the CPR. 

As a consequence, from 1 January 2012 it will only be possible for Danes in South East Asia to apply for a new passport by personal appearance at their embassies. For Danes in the Philippines that is the Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. For Danes in Laos and Cambodia, it is the Embassy in Bangkok. The Danish honorary consulates will from that date no longer receive passport applications. 

Danes in China may still apply for a new passport also at the Consulates in Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hongkong, and Shanghai.

The Embassy has listed the most frequently answered questions related to the new passports:

What are my options up until 1 January 2012? 
Until 31 December 2011 incl., you have the options described under . The new passports will be valid for 2, 5 or 10 years – just as it is now. 

What can be handled by the consulates from 1 January 2012? 
After 1 January 2012 the consulates can still extend the validity of passports and issue emergency passports. 

A condition for extension of an expired passport is that it expired no longer than two years ago. A passport can only be extended once and for a maximum of 12 months. We recommend that you make sure that the authorities of the country or countries you plan to travel to recognizes extended passports. For instance it is not possible to travel without a visa to the USA on an extended passport. 

An emergency passport is issued with validity limited to the period required for the duration of the journey and rules of the countries to be travelled through, and for a maximum of 12 months. An emergency passport must be rendered to the Police or to a Danish mission abroad after use. Travelling with an emergency passport may cause problems with other countries’ border controls. Therefore we recommend that you make sure that the authorities of the country or countries you plan to travel to recognize emergency passports. 

Can I get a new passport during my holiday in Denmark? 
Yes. Already today it is possible – and cheaper – to get a passport with a municipality (kommune) in Denmark. All Danish citizens can apply for a passport at the Civil Service Center (Borgerservicecenter) in any municipality. It is not necessary for you to reside in or in other way be attached to the municipality. You can find addresses of Civil Service Centres at You may wish to call beforehand for information on opening hours, booking of appointment etc. and inform them that you reside abroad. 

Can my child be included in my passport? 
No. Since 1 October 2004 children, also newly borns and children without names, must have their own passport. A consulate may issue a temporary (emergency) passport if you are in urgent need of a passport. Se above on emergency passports. 

Must children also give their fingerprints? 
No. Fingerprints are not collected from children below 12 years of age, but they still have to appear in person in order to apply for a passport. From 1 October 2011 application for passports for children can only be handed in at the Embassy. 

Must I also go to the Embassy to collect my new passport? 
No, you only have to appear in person to apply for passport. You may – as it is today – have your passport sent to you by recommended mail (EMS) provided that you pay a fee of THB 40 for the EMS-charge. But first you must send in your old passport for cancellation. 

About Gregers Møller

Editor-in-Chief • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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