The Council of State in The Hague has advised against changing the validity of the new Dutch passport from five to ten years. The reason is that government cannot guarantee security risks can be solved during those ten years.
In 2010, the Kingdom Council of Ministers decided to introduce a new passport with a longer validity so that residents of The Netherlands (including the overseas public bodies Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba), Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba only need to get a new passport every 10 years. Government acknowledged there are extra security risks with a longer validity. The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations explained that the holder’s looks can change more thus making it easier for others who look similar to take advantage by assuming someone else’s identity. Furthermore, within the period of at least 10 years it should not be possible to falsify the passport and imitate the electronic chip for security; however, for government the advantages of ten-year validity outweigh the risks.
The Council of State disagrees and pointed out there could be numerous circumstances where the face of the owner does not resemble his/ her picture even after a relatively short period and further queries the reliability of the electronic chip. “According to experts, the number of vulnerabilities in the chips and the tempo in which they are found will increase in the future.” Based on the latter, the council is not convinced that the longer validity is wise because the reliability of the document is more important. The usually followed advice is to reconsider the extension. The original proposal also mentioned the passport having one or more fingerprints of the owner, but this led to criticism from Parliament’s Second Chamber and Dutch citizens abroad because the passports could then not be issued by every consulate.