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DIGITAL ID

UPDATED: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

Denmark’s Agency for Digitisation has issued advice on how residents who are not Danish passport holders can make the switch to the country’s new digital ID system, MitID.

Denmark last year began its gradual transition from the NemID to MitID secure digital ID platform.
Denmark last year began its gradual transition from the NemID to MitID secure digital ID platform. Photo: Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark last year began its gradual transition from the NemID to MitID secure digital ID platform. The process began in October 2021 and is scheduled to be completed by June this year.

The digital ID systems are used to log in to services including online banking, secure email, and personal tax.

The existing NemID is being phased out in favour of the new MitID system, which does not use a physical card as was the case with NemID. 

In the second half of 2021, notifications began to appear on the NemID app asking for ID information to be updated in preparation for the changeover. However, this required a Danish passport, which many foreign residents in the country don’t have.

The Agency for Digitisation last year told The Local that solutions for making the switch without a passport will be rolled out at a later stage. In the meantime, those with foreign passports will not be locked out of the new system, and NemID will continue to function throughout the transitional period.

In January 2022, guidelines showing people who don’t have a Danish passport how to switch from NemID to MitID were issued by the digitisation agency.

Guidance was sent out by the agency in a circular via the Eboks secure digital mail platform. According to the circular, people without a Danish passport should wait to switch to MitID until they receive notification via their online or mobile bank that it is their turn to make the change. The notification will appear when logging on to online banking.

Not everyone will be notified at once – this is to avoid lots of people initiating the process at the same time, which could result in bottle necking.

The notification will include a deadline for when you need to switch over – it is important to take note of this because if you miss it, you will be unable to log on to online banking with your NemID after the deadline. You will, however, still be able to use NemID to log on to public services such as the tax agency, skat.dk and borger.dk.

The Agency for Digitisation told The Local via email on January 12th that some, but not all residents of Denmark will need to update their ID information in order to meet new security criteria connected used with MitID, in order to activate the new service.

For people who do not have Danish passports, this means visiting their local Borgerservice (Citizens’ Service) in order to provide updated ID information.

But “not all residents need to update their ID information before they can get MitID,” the agency wrote.

“This depends on the point in time at which you got NemID: If you needed to go to Borgerservice back when you got NemID, that means you confirmed by your physical presence that you are who you say you are – and thereby live up to the security requirements related to identity that apply for MitID,” the Agency for Digitisation explained.

In such cases, it is not necessary to update ID information, either by scanning a passport or by visiting Borgerservice, the agency confirmed.

People who have not previously confirmed their identities in line with these requirements will be required to do so when they now make the switch to MitID. This means that some will not be able to change over without visiting Borgerservice offline to update their ID information (if they do not have a Danish passport).

Others who previously obtained a NemID by, for example, visiting Borgerservice, have already submitted the ID information needed to activate MitID and can therefore do so with using their passport or visiting Borgerservice, according to information provided to The Local by The Agency for Digitisation.

As such, it is in some cases necessary to go in person to a local Borgerservice centre before changing to MitID. This also applies for those who don’t have a smartphone compatible with the passport method for switching over.

Foreign passports cannot be used because the NemID app (which is used when changing to MitID with a Danish passport) checks the validity of the passport with the database of the Danish National Police (Rigspolitiet), so foreign passports aren’t covered.

In most municipalities it is necessary to book an appointment with Borgerservice before attending. Municipality websites state whether a booking is required and provide a link to the booking system if necessary.

A list of contact details and addresses for Borgerservice locations in Copenhagen Municipality can be found here. In Aarhus, Borgerservice is located within the city’s flagship public library, Dokk1.

In smaller cities – such as Kolding, for example – there may be a dedicated building, while others – like Esbjerg or Ribe – house Borgerservice within the City Hall.

It’s advisable to make the appointment in good time before your deadline if you can, to allow for processing time.

When attending the appointment, you must bring a physical ID such as a passport, driving licence or residence permit card.

A full list of the valid types of ID can be found (in Danish) here.

If you are unable to get to a Borgerservice before the deadline – for example if you are currently abroad – the Agency for Digitisation advises that you contact the telephone support line for your bank. A list of numbers can be found here.

Editor’s note: When this article was first published it incorrectly stated all non-Danish passport holders must visit Borgerservice to switch to MitID, in accordance with a circular issued by the Agency for Digitisation. A number of readers got in touch to let us know they were able to switch to MitID online without a Danish passport, after which the Agency for Digitisation provided us with further clarification included in the updated version of this article.

Do you need any further information or guidance on MitID? Let us know and we’ll try to get your questions answered.

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DIGITAL ID

Can you change from NemID to MitID if you no longer live in Denmark?

Next week sees a deadline in the changeover to Denmark’s new digital ID platform, MitID. Many users of the old system, NemID, are required to visit local services in person to verify their identity. What happens if you no longer live in Denmark?

Can you change from NemID to MitID if you no longer live in Denmark?

People who still have active Danish bank accounts but no longer live in the country are among those who risk being unable to log in to their accounts after November 1st because they cannot attend local services in person to register for the new digital ID, MitID.

Thousands of Danish nationals who live abroad could find themselves in situations of this kind, newspaper Politiken reported earlier in October.

The Local has been contacted by former foreign residents of Denmark who have also described uncertainty over their MitID access because they have left the country and are therefore prevented from going to a local municipal public help desk (borgerservice).

An in-person appointment is required in many cases to confirm a person’s identity as part of the changeover from the outgoing system, NemID.

READ ALSO: How non-Danish passport holders can switch from NemID to MitID

The Danish Agency for Digitisation told Politiken that the issue impacts less than 20,000 people and a solution is on the way for some.

“If you cannot get MitID with NemID or by scanning your passport in the MitID app, you must attend borgerservice [in person] to get MitID, for example, next time you are in Denmark,” MitID states on its website.

People without Danish passports are more likely to need to attend Borgerservice because foreign passports cannot be used to verify ID in the MitID app.

The Danish Agency for Digitisation told Politiken this week that “because a parliamentary election has been called, the Agency for Digitisation cannot in principle comment to the press” apart from to provide factual information.

In comments to the paper earlier this month, the agency did not comment on whether it was reasonable to ask digital ID users to travel thousands of kilometres to register for MitID.

“It is estimated that there are now fewer than 20,000 active NemID users based abroad who have not yet got MitID and who needed to be ID-verified to get MitID,” the agency said.

“A solution is on the way which will make it possible to use foreign passports to set up MitID via the MitID app,” it said.

“If you are unable to get MitID by October 31st, and you need to access your mobile or internet banking after this date, you should contact your bank,” it said.

The Danish Foreign Ministry told Politiken it did not wish to comment on the situation and referred the matter to the Agency for Digitisation.

READ ALSO: MitID: Up to half a million in Denmark could lose access to online banking

The MitID digital ID system is gradually replacing NemID as the online ID used in Denmark for access to public service platforms, online banking and shopping online.

NemID will be turned off for secure platforms including banking on October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on to these platforms.

While NemID will still be enough to access government services like sundhed.dk, borger.dk and e-Boks, insurance and utility companies will also require MitID from November onwards. 

As such, MitID will be needed to log on to online banking from November 1st.

Those who do not make the switch before the deadline will still be able to do so after it, including in person at municipalities, the Danish Agency for Digitisation has also told Politiken.

Other platforms, like online shopping, will still accept NemID for now. The old system will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

The new MitID has been introduced to improve security and future-proof Denmark’s digital ID system, authorities say.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s MitID secured after discovery of security weakness

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