Traveling with your sedula is now possible with the Caribbean part of the Kingdom

Justice Minister Anna Richardson of St. Maarten has signed a Ministerial Regulation (MR) formalizing a pilot initiative within the Dutch Caribbean, whereby Dutch nationals can travel with identity cards (ID Card/sedula/ Cedula) in the Caribbean region except Aruba.

This only applies to Dutch nationals. Foreigners who possess an ID card/sedula/Cedula card cannot make use of this regulation. The minister said in a press release on Tuesday that it is well-known that families and companies are relocating regularly within the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and there’s a high demand to make travelling as accessible as possible. Many residents living in the Caribbean areas of the Kingdom hold a local identity card (ID Card/sedula/Cedula) and may not possess a passport.

The pilot originally started on May 1, 2022, and has since then been regularly evaluated. The evaluation results were positive, which led to a first extension of the pilot. During the Judicial Four-Party consultation (Justitieel Vierpartijen Overleg JVO) in Curacao on January 17, 2024, the pilot initiative was extended for a second time. In addition, Curacao, the Netherlands, and St. Maarten expressed their intention to formally implement the pilot initiative into the legal frameworks of the respective countries.

Formerly, a passport was the only valid travel document for travel within (and outside) the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, and the costs and process of applying for a passport were experienced as obstacles to traveling.

“With this MR a passport is formally no longer required for residents with Dutch nationality to travel between these (island) countries. However, the usual local entry conditions will apply and remain applicable, including having sufficient resources for your stay on the island,” it was stated in the release.

Aruba is not yet actively participating in the pilot initiative. For residents of Aruba, their Cedula is also accepted when they travel to the Caribbean Netherlands, Curacao, and St. Maarten. However, currently, a passport is still required for residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, Curacao, and St. Maarten to travel to Aruba. Traveling to Aruba based on an ID Card is therefore not (yet) possible.

Foreigners who do not have Dutch nationality but do have an (ID Card/sedula/Cedula) from the (island) countries Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, Curacao, and St. Maarten cannot use this regulation. This measure also does not apply to travelers between the participating (island) countries and the European part of the Netherlands. A passport is still required for this travel. The European Dutch ID Card is also not a valid travel document for traveling within the participating (island) countries.

The Daily Herald

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