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 or when you no longer have your old 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.
New passport card: The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has announced that a new Irish Passport Card, which will be accepted for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area, will be available from the end of September 2015. It will be available to all Irish citizens who are over 18 years of age and hold a valid Irish passport. The card will have a maximum validity of 5 years (or the remaining validity of your passport) and will cost €35. Further information 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.
Complete Section 6 of the application form. Submit the form together with the required documentation as if it was your first application for a passport. 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:
When applying in person at a Passport Office the fees are:
There is an additional charge of €55 for an adult and €30 for a child if you require your passport urgently (within 5 working days).
If you use An Post's Passport Express service there will be an additional charge of €9.50 per application. An Post also offers a 'Family Application' option whereby up to 4 passport applications for a family 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 a new Irish passport online. It is also not currently possible to download the application form you need to complete. 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 that displays the "Service Plus" logo.
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:
Note: If you are unable to provide any general photographic ID, you will have to complete a certificate of identity and have it witnessed. The certificate of identity will be sent to you upon receipt of your passport application. The certificate will include preprinted details, including your application photograph. It must be witnessed by someone from a list of people acceptable to the Passport Service for this purpose, and who also personally knows you.
The additional documentation you must supply depends on how you obtained your Irish citizenship.
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.
Applying through the Passport Express service ensures that properly completed applications will normally be processed in 10 working days. 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.
An application for a new passport made in person to any of the Passport Offices in Ireland normally takes longer than 10 working days to process. However, 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.
In cases of genuine emergency, the duty officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can issue an emergency passport of limited validity. Examples of such emergencies are:
There is a charge for this out-of-hours emergency service - €110 for an adult and €55 for a child. The emergency passport is valid for a limited amount of time. An application for a regular passport will have to be made subsequently.
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 avalable 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.