The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, unveiled the design of the new Irish Passport Card, which will be accepted for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area and will be available from mid-July.
Unveiling the card at the Passport Office in Dublin this week, Minister Flanagan said: “For many years I have supported the introduction of a Passport Card to supplement the Passport Booklet so I am delighted to launch the Passport Card. I commend the innovation of the Passport Office in introducing this Card - the first of its kind in the world.
The Minister continued: “The Passport Card will be particularly useful for young people who use their Passport Booklet as identification, especially on nights out. As a father I have often felt concern about the impracticality of the Passport Booklet as a means of identification for young people on nights out and this new Card will be a far more practical option.
“Today I am also launching a Smartphone App which makes it very easy to apply for the card – the app even includes a feature allowing a photograph to be taken that will meet international standards for passports.
“Those travelling within the EU and EEA will also be able to use the Passport Card and frequent travellers will find this particularly useful if their Passport Booklet is with an embassy as part of a visa application process. The new card will also provide a useful backup travel document within Europe in the event that someone loses their passport while travelling.
“The card and app are further examples of the innovative approach of Ireland’s Passport Service, which is focused on providing a first-class service to Irish citizens. Recent innovations include the introduction of a new Passport Book; Passport Express, which aims to provide a turnaround time of 10 working days and an appointment service for those needing to travel urgently.”
The passport card will be available from mid-July 2015 to all Irish citizens who are over 18 years and hold a valid Irish Passport. The card will have a maximum validity of 5 years (or the remaining validity of an individual’s passport book) and will cost €35.
The security features of the card have incorporated the advice of security experts including An Garda Síochána. One innovative feature of note is the embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse of the card. This is the first occasion on which this security feature will be used on travel documents.