Picking your new passport in Estonia becomes a whole lot handier, Source: Depositphotos

Estonian citizens will be able to pick their passports from supermarkets

Estonian citizens will be able to pick their passports from supermarkets

The new service will be available in the retail sector following an agreement with the Ministry of Interior of Estonia

Starting in mid-January, Estonian citizens will be able to pick up their new passports and ID cards in outlets of the Selver supermarket chain, rather than having to line up in police offices. The new scheme will be launched on 12 January, initially in five locations – four in the capital Tallinn and one in Pärnu.

The new and unique service will be possible thanks to an agreement between the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia, Selver and Hansab, a private company. The latter will have a license to issue documents in order to reduce queues at the Police and Border Guard (PPA) offices in the country.

Marit Abram, head of PPA's identity and status office, was quoted by ERR new agency as explaining: "You can collect all documents issued by the PPA from Selver — in addition to passports and ID-cards, residence permit cards, foreign passports, seafarers' documents, and digital identity cards."

The service will expand even into neighbouring Finland

Apparently, all documents will have a digital status, which will be recorded in the PPA system, however, the physical delivery will be outsourced to the retail chain in order to save time and provide more convenience for the citizens.

Store employees issuing documents will be subjected to background checks and training before they can hand over documents. They, however, do not need to be citizens of Estonia.

Selver stores already have everything in place to start issuing documents from their information counters, including surveillance systems and safes. The only thing missing is special computer software.

By April, the service will have expanded across all of Estonia and even to Finland. Documents can be issued in Oulu, Turku, Kuopio, Vaasa, Tampere and Helsinki.

"In total, there will be 50 collection points across Estonia and Finland where it will be possible to receive documents," said Tex Vertmann, head of business solutions provider Hansab's card unit, which has signed an agreement with Selver.



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