A passport is an internationally recognised travel document confirming your identity and nationality and you are only entitled to an Irish passport if you are an Irish citizen. This document explains how to apply for your first Irish passport. In other documents you will find information on:
Your passport is an important legal document. At all times, you should ensure that it is kept in a secure place. Each Irish passport carries a unique identification number and you should keep a note of your number, in the event that your passport is lost or stolen.
As well as allowing you to travel abroad, your Irish passport entitles you to certain diplomatic support services from Irish embassies abroad should you get into difficulties. While your Irish passport is an internationally recognised travel document, it does not give you an automatic right to enter other countries.
Your Irish passport is issued by the Irish Government through the Passport Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade here in Ireland. Irish passports are also issued through Irish embassies and consulates throughout the world, to whom you apply if you are living abroad.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has introduced a new credit-card sized Irish passport card which you can use for travel within the European Union/European Economic Area (includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Switzerland. For all other travel you must use your normal passport.
Further information is available in our document on the Irish passport card.
If you would like to apply for a second passport for business purposes, you must provide evidence to support your application. Second passports for business purposes are issued with restricted periods of validity. Information on second passports is available on the Department's website.
Irish citizens travelling to destinations outside the EU are subject to the specific passport controls and requirements of those countries. This means, for example, when travelling outside the EU, your passport may need to be valid for a certain period. The arrangements vary from one country to another so contact the embassy of the relevant country before you travel for the most up-to-date information on these requirements.
All EU citizens have the right to enter and live in the territory of another member state of the EU for up to three months. You simply present a valid passport or national identity card; no other formality is required. EU countries cannot set additional conditions concerning the minimum validity or duration of the identity card or passport. Basically this means that your passport doesn't have to be valid for, say, 6 months before you are allowed enter another EU country.
A machine-readable passport is a passport with two typeface lines printed at the bottom of the biographical page [the photo page], which can be read by machine. When read, these lines electronically provide identical information to that provided on the biographical page.
In October 2006 the Passport Office began issuing Irish electronic passports (ePassport). An electronic passport is the same as a normal machine-readable passport with the addition of a small integrated circuit or chip embedded in the photo page. The chip securely stores a digitised image of the photo and personal details of the passport holder as they appear on the data page of the passport, which allows the use of facial recognition technology at border controls.
You must be an Irish citizen in order to be eligible for an Irish passport.
You have a right to apply for a passport if you are aged 18 years or over. If you are under 18, you will need the consent of both parents or guardian(s) in writing in order to get your own passport - see our document on passports for children.
Titles such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Rev., Sir, Lord, Lady are not entered on Irish passports.
A passport may be issued in the married or civil partnership name of an applicant if a civil marriage certificate or a civil partnership certificate is submitted.
If the name you are known by is different from the name on your birth certificate and it is not due to marriage, civil partnership or adoption, you will have to supply documentary evidence that you have been continually using the name for at least 2 years. If the name you are known by is the Irish version of your name but you do not have proof of 2 years’ usage, proof of at least 6 months’ usage may be accepted. If the proof of 6 months’ usage is accepted, the English version of your name will also be noted on the passport. Examples of documentation showing proof of usage include a driving licence, bank statements, insurance, tax and social welfare documents. You should include at least 2 examples with your application.
If the name on your passport will not be exactly the same as the name on your birth certificate, you can indicate on the application form that you also want your birth certificate name noted on the passport. This can help to avoid difficulties if you apply for a visa or work permit abroad.
Four recent identical photographs of the passport holder must be included with each application. Two of these should be signed on the back by the person who witnesses the application. The witness should also write the form number shown in Section 9 of the application form on those two photographs. If you are applying in Ireland the witness must be a member of the Garda Síochána.
If you are applying abroad, suitable categories of witness are listed on the application form. The witness should enter their daytime contact number on the application form as this may need to be verified by the Passport Service or Mission.
You can now apply online to replace your passport. First, you will need to report the loss or theft to the Garda Síochána (or to the local police if abroad). You can view more detailed information in our document on how to replace a lost or stolen Irish passport.
The fees when applying for an Irish passport using An Post's Passport Express (see below) or through an embassy or consulate are:
These fees do not include the charge payable to An Post for using the Passport Express service - see below.
When applying in person at a Passport Office the fees are:
Emergency charge: There is an additional charge of €70 for an adult and €38 for a child if you require your passport urgently (within 3 to 5 working days).
If you use An Post's Passport Express service there is an additional administrative charge, payable to An Post. This charge is €9.50 per individual application. An Post also offers a 'Family Application' option whereby up to 4 passport applications may be enclosed in one envelope. The additional charge for a Family Application is €16. The additional charge includes postage to and from the Passport Service.
The Passport Express service is also available through UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland (pdf).
When applying for a passport through your Irish embassy or consulate, there may be additional administrative costs or handling charges depending on where you live. Check this in advance with the Irish embassy or consulate in the country in which you are living.
You can pay for your Irish passport through Passport Express or at a Passport Office public counter if you are living in Ireland. If you are using An Post's Passport Express service, you should pay the passport application fees and the extra Passport Express fee directly to An Post.
If you are living abroad, you can pay by post or at your nearest Irish embassy or consulate abroad.
It is not possible to apply for your first Irish passport online. (However, you can renew your passport online.)
It is also not currently possible to download the passport application form.
If you are living in Ireland you can apply using Passport Express or in person at a Passport Office. If you are living abroad you can apply in person or using ordinary or registered post to your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.
If you are an Irish citizen living in the State, you should fill out form APS 1. You will find these forms at Garda stations and at any Post Office.
If you are an Irish citizen living in Northern Ireland or outside Ireland you should fill out form APS 2. You can get the application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you live (or the closest embassy or consulate). The Passport Express service including forms is available through certain UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland (pdf).
When you get the form, you should read the detailed notes provided with it, to help you complete the application form correctly. The application form must be signed by an official witness who can confirm your identity and the details you have given.
In all applications for a new passport, as well as the completed application form, you must submit:
All first-time applicants for an adult passport who are resident in the State have to supply a photocopy of their Public Services Card for identification purposes. This also applies to adult passport applicants whose last passport was issued prior to January 2005 and has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged. They no longer need to supply a certified copy of photographic ID or proof of use of name. Proof of address continues to be required.
If your previous passport was issued to you when you were a child and has not yet expired (or has only recently expired), your application is considered a renewal application and not a first-time application.
The additional documentation you must supply depends on how you obtained your Irish citizenship. If you are replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport that was issued on or after 1 January 2005 and your new passport will issue in the same name, you do not have to supply the additional documentation.
Born in Ireland - you should include:
Born abroad to Irish-born parent - you should include:
Citizenship through foreign birth registration - you should include:
Born abroad and adopted under Irish law - you should include:
Post-nuptial citizenship - you should include:
Citizenship through naturalisation - you should include:
If your documents are not in English you must also supply a certified English version, translated by a registered translator. You may also be required to provide further information and/or attend for interview.
The Passport Service strongly recommends that you apply for your passport at least 6 weeks prior to your travel date.
Applying through the Passport Express service ensures that properly completed renewal applications will normally be processed in 15 working days. For first-time applications you should allow at least 20 working days for your application to be processed. This period may be extended at certain times of the year due to increased application numbers. Check the Passport Service website for current processing time information.
If you are due to travel in less than 3 weeks you should apply in person to a Passport Office. To apply in person at a Passport Office, you should book an appointment online.
If you require a passport urgently, you should contact the Passport Service.
If living abroad, in general you should allow at least 6-8 weeks for the processing of your passport via your local embassy or consulate.
The Passport Service provides a Passport Tracking Service. This service allows you to check the status of your application online. In order to do this, you must have the application number from your form (available in the top left-hand corner of the form) to do this.
When you receive your passport, you should sign it. In the case of a child’s passport, the child should sign it. If the child is not able to sign their name, it should be left blank.
If applying from within the State, you should use Passport Express. Hand in your application at your nearest Service Plus Post Office. If you have immediate travel plans or a necessity to travel for reasons of family emergency, contact a Passport Office.
If applying from outside the State, send the completed application to the nearest Irish embassy or consulate, or hand it in at the nearest participating Northern Ireland Post Office if using Passport Express.
You can order birth, marriage, civil partnership and adoption certificates online from the HSE.
You can order a certificate of entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions from the Adoption Authority.
Information on how to obtain a foreign birth registration certificate is available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.