District Police Departments
Frequently asked questions
Why are a valid passport and an identity card the only acceptable identity documents when applying for a passport?
A passport and an identity card are the only officially accepted proofs of identity when applying for a passport. When applying for these documents, the police has reliably identified the applicant. A driving licence, for example, cannot be considered a reliable proof of identity, as it is only a licence card showing that the holder has a right to drive, while the holder has not been identified by the police.
Can I keep the old passport as a souvenir?
No. To prevent any possibility of abuse, it is important that passports are returned to the police for cancellation and disposal. The law only makes it possible to return a passport to the holder after it has been cancelled in the event that it has notations made by a foreign authority that are necessary for the holder (such as a visa). The importance of such notation by an authority will be assessed in each case. Such as stamps made in a passport on arrival in or exit from a state would not, however, be considered as important notations by an authority.
What should I do if my passport is damaged?
A passport holder has a duty to store his or her passport carefully following the instructions issued. If you notice that your passport is damaged, contact the police service point providing licence services or another authority issuing passports. You should not attempt to travel on a damaged or defaced passport, as your journey could be interrupted at a border control point.
Do I have to exchange my old passport for one with a microchip?
No. Once a passport has been issued, it may be used until it expires. The reforms always only apply to newly issued passports.
Is it possible to include biometric identifiers in an old passport at a later date?
No. The old passports do not contain a microchip, and it is not possible to add a chip at a later date. Neither is it possible to add data on the microchip of a new passport after it has been issued.
What is a Machine Readable Passport?
A passport is machine readable if the bottom of the information page contains two lines of text with the essential information of the passport in alphanumeric characters and > symbols. All valid Finnish passports issued for more than a year are machine readable.
Can a biometric passport be damaged?
A biometric passport is extremely durable. The microchip and aerial in the passport may, however, be damaged if handled carelessly. When passports are handed out, citizens are issued instructions explaining how to handle their passports to prevent them from being damaged.
How does biometrics affect travel to the United States?
As regards travel to the United States, no changes are in sight: you can travel on both old and new passports until they expire exactly as before. A visa will be needed in addition to the current temporary passport and a National seafarer's card. A child entered in the passport of a parent with no passport of his or her own will need a visa.
For more information on travel to the US:
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