Sovereign Military Order of Malta passport

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Sovereign Military Order of Malta passport
The front cover of a contemporary Sovereign Military Order of Malta diplomatic biometric passport
Issued by  Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Sovereign Military Order of Malta

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta passport is a travel document issued to officials of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM). The order issues biometric passports which are fully ICAO9303 compliant.[1]

The application and printing processes are handled by the Österreichische Staatsdruckerei of Vienna, Austria.

The Order only issues three ordinary passports, by agreement with the government of Italy these are issued to:

(i) The Grand Master (as of March 2016 Friar Matthew Festing who also has a UK Passport).
(ii) The Grand Commander (as of March 2016 Friar Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein who also has an Austrian passport).
(iii) The Grand Chancellor (as of March 2016 Freiherr Albrecht von Boeselager who also has a German passport).

All other members of the order travel on the passports issued by their respective home countries when not on official business.

Diplomatic passports of the Sovereign Order of Malta are issued only to the members of the Sovereign Council (the government of the Order), to heads and members of Diplomatic Missions of the Order (as well as their consort and minor children), with justified exceptions for those who are in charge of a special missions within the Sovereign Order of Malta. The validity of the passport is strictly linked to the duration of the assignment. Currently 400 diplomatic passports are in use. The numerous other members and volunteers of the Order remain citizens of their own respective countries. [2]

However diplomatic passports are only officially recognized for the purposes of diplomatic immunity in 12 countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Physical appearance

Passport covers carry the text in French: 'Ordre Souverain Militaire de Malte' above the coat of arms, and passeport below it.[3] Diplomatic passports are red, whereas service passports are black.

The country-code XOM has been assigned by the ICAO after consultation with the SMOM and the machine-readable zone thus starts with P<XOM.


The SMOM has diplomatic relationships with 105 countries,[4] which therefore accept the passport. In the Schengen area (where most of the extraterritorialities of the order are located) it is recognized by 12 (Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Austria, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia) out of 27 members.[5]

See also


  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. "Sovereign Military Order of Malta issues new e-passport". C. Haager (Keesing Journal of documents & identity). 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The Order's official website lists them in this table. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
  5. "Table of travel documents entitling the holder to cross the external borders and which may be endorsed with a visa". Council of the European Union. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>