Holidaymakers, rejoice! Passport renewal will soon be offered online

29 Mar 2017

An Irish passport. Image: Astroette/Shutterstock

Holidaymakers rushing to get their passports renewed can now celebrate the fact that they can soon do so online.

The effort of renewing your passport in Ireland has seen many a stressed holidaymaker join a lengthy queue at the passport office in central Dublin. Thankfully, that is soon to end as the process is finally entering a digital era.

Later today (29 March), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its minister Charlie Flanagan, TD, will confirm that citizens can apply for their passport renewal online.

As part of the new online passport application service, people will be able to send all the necessary details via desktop, mobile or tablet, starting from 30 March.

In terms of restrictions, the service will only be available to passport holders over the age of 18. For anyone looking to apply for their first passport, the standard application process will remain.

The department said that the initiative is part of its aim to modernise the passport service, and will bring more benefits to citizens living in Ireland, and the diaspora abroad.

Previous efforts to digitise

Past attempts to update the passport office have included the launch of an app, to apply for an EU passport card without the need to send anything by post or deliver in person.

Similar to the National Identity Cards of many other EU countries, the card can be used for international travel within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), enabling Irish citizens to travel within these regions without their traditional passports.

The card was the first to combine optical security media and an ICAO-compliant chip, which provide high levels of protection against attempts at fraud and counterfeiting.

Last year, the card designers were presented with the Best Regional ID Document of the Year Award 2016 from Reconnaissance International at the High Security Printing Conference in Bucharest, Romania.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic