Sovereign Military Order of Malta passport
|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|
|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.
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 (since March 2008 Fra' Matthew Festing who also has a United Kingdom Passport).
- (ii) The Grand Commander (since May 2014 Fra' Ludwig Hoffmann von Rumerstein (de) who also has an Austrian passport).
- (iii) The Grand Chancellor (since May 2014 Freiherr Albrecht von Boeselager (de) 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 spouse 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. 
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.
The SMOM has diplomatic relationships with 105 countries, 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.
- "Sovereign Military Order of Malta issues new e-passport". C. Haager (Keesing Journal of documents & identity). 2005. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- The Order's official website lists them in this table. Retrieved 2011-01-29.
- "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.