Government announces changes to passport application process

The changes will only affect first-time applicants

Passport, application, changes, Department of Foreign Affairs, passport service, first-time applicants, Public Services Card, PSC

The new location for the Passport Office in the previous offices of the Irish office of the European Commission in Dublin | Image: Rollingnews.ie

The Department of Foreign Affairs is announcing changes to how first-time passport applicants can apply for passport.

The Passport Service says all first-time applicants aged 18 and above who are resident in Ireland will need to present a photocopy of their individual Public Services Card (PSC) for identification.

This new requirement also applies to the small number of adult passport applicants, whose last passport was issued before January 1st 2005 and has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged.

"The measure is an important step considered necessary to enhance protections against fraud and identity theft and to uphold the integrity of the Irish passport", the service says.

"It will also ensure that the identity of first-time applicants for Irish passports continues to be verified to a high standard", it adds.

First-time applicants who do not currently have a PSC can get one through their local Department of Social Protection office.

The PSC is used as a secure way to access government services - including social welfare services and for free travel on public transport.

The government says more than 1.8 million cards are already in circulation.

The Passport Service says the new measure does not apply to applications for renewal of passports issued since January 1st 2005, or to passport applications for children.

The new requirement means first-time applicants for adult passports will no longer need to supply a certified copy of documents - such as their driving licence or student card for identification.

It also dispenses with the current requirement for additional proof of name, but a proof of address is still required.

The new measures will take effect from March 29th.