IRELAND has launched a new ID card that can be used for travel in Europe.
Yesterday Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan announced that applications for the country's Passport Card are now being accepted.
“This is an Irish-led and Irish-designed project that combines cutting edge technology and security -features with ground-breaking levels of user-friendliness and flexibility," he said.
“It represents a very positive story of Irish-led creative thinking and innovation and illustrates that we are very much pioneers in this area.”
Here's what you need to know...
1. Ireland is the first country in the world to introduce a Passport Card. It was created in partnership with Galway security tech firm HID.
2. You can travel to the following 31 European Union and European Economic Area countries using the new Passport Card: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
3. Over 3,000 applications can be processed per week with an expected wait of 20-25 working days for each one to go through.
4. The Passport Card is available only to Irish passport holders over the age of 18. Passport Card details must be exactly as they are on your passport.
6. The card is designed to fit into any wallet or purse.
6. The card is valid for a maximum of five years or the remaining validity of your passport. There must be at least 30 days validity on your passport.
7. The cost is €35 (approx £26) plus a credit card transaction fee. Additional delivery costs outside Ireland are approximately €5.
8. You can apply online via the DFA website.
9. There's also a free app called Irish Passport Card that allows you to apply for the new card from your smart phone or tablet via the Apple Store, Google Play or the Windows Store.