Biometric Information in Passports

The EU member states have agreed that fingerprints must be taken from persons applying for travel documents. On 28 June 2009, fingerprints were introduced in diplomatic passports and service passports. These travel documents are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Governors of Curaçao, St Maarten and Aruba. On 21 September 2009, fingerprints were introduced in the Dutch national passport and identity card.

On 26 August 2006, an electronic chip was introduced in Dutch passports. This chip contains a digital image of the holder’s face (a scanned passport photograph) and the holder’s personal details. The digital facial image and the fingerprints are part of a drive by EU member states to better protect their travel documents against forgery and fraud. The information on the chip can be compared with the holder’s features and with the printed information in the travel document. This makes it more difficult to falsify travel documents and to use someone else’s travel document for identification purposes.

Dutch nationals abroad

If you reside abroad and your passport expires, you can apply for a new passport at a Dutch embassy or consulate. The introduction of biometric features in travel documents has necessitated changes in procedures at Dutch embassies, consulates-general and honorary consulates. But these changes cannot be introduced at all honorary consulates. The introduction of fingerprints therefore means that it is no longer possible to apply for a passport at all honorary consulates. On this website, you will find a list of all locations where you can apply for a new passport.

Do you live abroad but are staying temporarily in the Netherlands, for instance on holiday? If your passport is due to expire soon, you should apply for a new one in the Netherlands. Dutch nationals residing abroad can apply for a passport to the Foreign Documents Department (in Dutch) of the municipality of The Hague (at the town hall in the city centre) and to the municipality of Enschede. Since 1 April 2010, the municipalities of Maastricht and Echt-Susteren have been offering the same service.

Since 28 August 2006, EU Regulation 2252/2004 has required all EU member states to include a digital image of the holder’s face in travel documents. When you apply for a new passport, it will be provided with an electronic chip containing your facial image and personal details. The digital facial image is produced by scanning your passport photograph. Since the facial image has been included in the chip, passport photographs have been subject to stricter requirements.

Outside the Netherlands, it can be difficult to get passport photographs that meet these requirements. An invalid passport photograph can delay the issue of a new travel document. If you intend to apply for a new passport, you are advised to have photographs taken that meet the new requirements while you are in the Netherlands.


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