GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Civil Registry Department has embarked upon a one-month campaign to sensitize the community to identity fraud and theft.
The Civil Registry Department would also like to make it known that persons, who lose their passport, would no longer have to get a police report when applying for a new passport. A pilot project with respect to the aforementioned will commence in July 2016.
The Dutch passport law has been amended accordingly with respect to this past requirement. The only exception is in the event of robbery. For Sint Maarten, the law change will become effective in January 2017.
The person will only have to make a declaration of loss to the Civil Registry Department when requesting a new document. An enhanced relationship between the Police Department and Civil Registry will create an adequate mechanism for fraud prevention.
A pilot project in the Netherlands regarding loss passport revealed that dropping the requirement to file a Police report with no suspicion of abuse of the travel document, there were major advantages resulting in less administrative burdens on citizens and the government apparatus. In close to 98 per cent of the cases, there was no reason to suspect abuse or misleading information of loss passports.
Prior to the change of Article 32 of the Passport Law which was in place since 2001 making it compulsory to file a Police report for loss or theft of a passport, the measure has had no effect, but only led to high administrative burdens to citizens, Police, Civil Registries and Consulates.
A person who loses their passport must now report this as soon as possible to the Civil Registry Department where it can be recorded in the basic administration system in order to prevent misuse. This will ensure the prevention of fraud and identity theft.
Citizens are advised to keep their identity documents (ID cards, Driver’s license, Passport) in a safe place at all times and to also be aware of the expiration dates on each document so it can be renewed in a timely manner prior to the expiration date.
It’s every citizen’s responsibility to protect their identity.
The one-month public awareness campaign includes a newspaper advisement on a weekly basis; radio public service announcement; awareness information via press releases; brochure; and radio talk interviews.