Estonia to introduce new passport design from 2021

  • 2020-10-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – From January 1, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board will start issuing passports with a new design.

The data entered in the travel documents will remain the same, but the design of passports and security features will be updated. The first specimens of passports will be presented at the end of November.

Interior Minister Mart Helme said that the new design of the passports ties together the history, present and future of Estonia, which are equally important to us. "Based on the basics of Estonian statehood, the cover of the passport has a national coat of arms with three lions and the design of the passport's pages is modern and forward-looking. On the one hand, the passport is an important symbol for its citizens, and on the other hand, it tells the story of Estonia in the world. In the new design, the two objectives are nicely balanced," Helme said.

Estonia is known in the world for its innovation and unique solutions -- for example, we have e-residency, the startup visa and the digital nomad visa. "This image is also supported by the modern design of the new travel documents, which is unique to the Estonian people -- the design of the documents uses elements of Estonian nature, which are cleverly combined with the country's symbols and security elements," the minister added.

"As with existing passports, security is important for the new passports. We have innovatively integrated security elements into the design of the passport. Some security features are visible to the naked eye, some can be felt with fingers, and some can only be controlled by special light or a magnifying glass," Eliisa Sau, chief expert at the identity and status bureau of the Police and Border Guard Board, said. In addition, the material on which the passport user's data is entered also changed. "We switched from a security paper to a polycarbonate personal data sheet, which is also used for ID-cards. This allowed us to introduce additional security features," she added.

The new passports will be completed in cooperation with HID CID LIMITED, and the Ministry of the Interior, the Government Office, Enterprise Estonia and the Center for Information Technology and Development (SMIT) of the Ministry of the Interior have been involved in the process. The process is managed by the Police and Border Guard Board as the issuer of documents. The passport contract is concluded for eight years, during which time the Police and Border Guard Board orders an estimated 800,000 documents from the contract partner.

The total value of the contract is 11.5 million euros, which remains in the same price range as the previous contracts, including all production-related costs, including the development of innovative designs. State expenses are covered by the state fee. The price of a passport remains the same for the state and the individual.