The police to solve the current passport chaos via SMS

Norwegian passport UDINorwegian passport. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

The police to solve the current passport chaos via SMS

Norwegians will receive a reminder by SMS  when their passport is about to expire as of 2020. The SMS will contain an offer for an appointment to renew it.

Minister of Justice and Emergency, Tor Mikkel Wara (Progress Party), and acting Police Director, Håkon Skulstad, informs. This after discussing the long queues in Eastern Norway in a meeting on Tuesday.

“From 2020 we will send out an SMS notification to those who need to renew their passport about one year before expiration. It will also suggest a time for an appointment. In this way, we want to distribute the issue of passports evenly throughout the year,” Skulstad tells NTB

He emphasises that very many Norwegians wish to renew their passports during spring and early summer, while few do so in the autumn.

The police have all notified about measures to reduce the long waiting time to obtain a passport in Eastern Norway. In Oslo, East and Southeastern police districts alike, it is now possible to book an appointment 90 days ahead of time. In addition, staffing is increased after Easter, and summer temps are starting to work earlier than originally planned.

Advertises last-minute slots

In Oslo, the passport offices will extend their opening hours to 6 pm and be open on Saturdays. In the two other police districts, there will, likewise, be extended opening hours.

“Last-minute slots are constantly being posted,” Skulstad continues. He urges Norwegians to check both in the morning and afternoon to see if there are any available slots.

Those who produce the passports manage to meet the delivery time of up to ten days, even though the number of orders increases, he concludes.

Important service

“This is an important service function. We believe that it is important that the police turns around and solve these problems so that people can obtain them in time,” Wara tells NTB.

He rejects that the long queues are related to the closure of issuing offices.

“It’s important to keep in mind one important thing: We are in a process where we make the passports ever safer. It regards the national security,” he continues.

Skulstad points to several reasons. He believes that the fear that you will not obtain a passport in time, in part because of the revised system, has contributed to that many want to obtain their all-important document ASAP.

Thousands disappear

That as many as 34,000 Norwegian passports disappear every year, either by theft or losing it, contributes to the situation as well.

“It is not the explanation for what is happening now, but if people would be even better at taking care of their passports, there will be less need to issue them. That would save Norwegians both bother and money,” Skulstad emphasises. He also reminds that a passport is a very important document.

The police districts must finance the increased capacity through their own budgets, according to Wara. He stresses that passports should be self-financing through fees

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