Credit-card size Irish passport for European travel released

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A new credit-card style passport card that can fit in wallets and purses, and which is valid for travelling to 30 European countries, is available from today.

Applications for the new passport card can be processed online or through a smartphone and tablet app, and are open to adults who already have a valid passport book.

It can be used for travelling within the European Union member states, as well as countries within the European Economic Area – Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The card costs €35 and those applying from outside Ireland will have to pay an additional €5.

“It is, in effect, a passport and it carries all the attributes and entitlements of a passport and should be treated with great care, as you would a passport,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said at an event to launch the card this morning.

However, Department of Foreign Affairs officials said the passport card does not have to be cancelled if someone loses their passport book, and vice versa.

Mr Flanagan also said he is concerned about the current strike affecting postal services but said it is “not clear” that many passports are currently stuck in the postal system.

Passport applications can made in person in the passport offices in Dublin and Cork, as well the Irish Aid office in Limerick. Passports can be collected from the offices in Dublin and Cork.

A list of frequently asked questions has been compiled by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Who can apply for the Irish passport card?

The Irish passport card is available only to Irish Citizens who are in possession of a valid passport book (with a minimum of 30 days validity remaining) and who are aged 18 or over.

Where can I travel on the passport card?

The card is valid for travel within the EU/EEA (European Economic Area).

Do I need a passport book before I apply for a passport card?

Yes, you must be in possession of your valid passport book in order to apply for a passport card. (Note: if your passport book is lost or stolen you must apply for a new passport book before you can apply for a passport card).

How much will the passport card cost?

The fee for a passport card is €35. There will be an additional €5 postal fee if you reside outside Ireland.

How do I pay for my passport card?

Payment can be made using a credit card or a debit card. (currently Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards are accepted).

How long is the passport card valid for?

The passport card has a maximum validity of 5 years or the remaining validity of your current passport book i.e. the passport card expiry date cannot exceed that of your passport book.

What if I lose my passport card or it is stolen?

The details of all lost or stolen passports are reported by the Passport Service to Interpol which means they are no longer valid for travel. When reapplying for your new card you should indicate the lost, theft or damage of your passport card on the relevant section of the online application form. If you are not applying for a new card you should notify the passport service by completing the contact form.

When travelling on my passport card what number do I use to check in online?

When checking in online use the card number located at the upper right hand corner on the face of the card (for example C12345678).

I have a passport photo at home, can I use it for my passport card application?

Yes, if the photo has been taken in the last six months. You can use this photo by scanning it at a high resolution (minimum 300dpi) at full size.

SOURCE :  THE IRISH TIMES

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