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