IRELAND’S new online passport application service allows Irish citizens to renew their passports from their computer, mobile phone or tablet.
The digital service is the first of its kind in Ireland and is available to all Irish passport holders over the age of 18, abroad and at home.
Here’s everything you need to know…
So what is it?
The new Online Passport Application Service (OPAS) was launched on March 30 by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan.
The service allows Irish citizens to renew their passports online here.
OPAS has been described as a “safe, fast and convenient way to renew your passport” as well as "one of the most significant innovations in the Department's customer service over the past 15 years".
The streamlined service will allow applicants to submit information and photographs digitally and will avoid the need for witnessing of forms and the printing of pictures.
What’s the cost?
A standard passport application on the new system costs €80 (£69), with a large book priced at €110 (£95) and a passport card costing €35 (£30).
The DFA say they are “satisfied that our Passport fees continue to offer very good value for money, particularly in comparison to charges in other comparable countries.”
What are the rules?
Photographs submitted through the new system must meet strict criteria. Full guidelines on digital photos can be found here.
OPAS does not accept selfies or photographs taken with a webcam.
Applicant can however get another person to take their photo using a digital camera or smartphone.
Who can use it?
OPAS is currently available to all Irish passport holders aged 18 or above, abroad as well as at home.
There are no geographical restrictions in place and the system allows applicants to apply for renewals from anywhere in the world.
First-time Irish passport applicants and children are required to continue using An Post’s Passport Express services or contacting passport offices.
Ireland’s Passport Service processed a record 733,000 renewal applications last year and that figure is expected to grow by as much at 10 per cent this year.
OPAS – which cost the Irish Government €18.6 million (£16m) to set up – is the latest upgrade in an ongoing modernisation of the service.
Minister Flanagan said: “Today’s service modernisation is the latest example of my Department’s commitment to providing innovative services to our citizens.
“In the past 18 months we have introduced the Passport Card, the Travelwise App and today the Online Passport Application Service. All these innovations put our citizens at the heart of the services we provide.”