Passports for children
In the past, children could be included on a parent’s Irish passport. However, since October 2004, a child – defined as aged under 18 – must have an individual Irish passport in their own name.
Children’s passports last for 5 years. (Up to 29 March 2017, there was a 3-year passport for children aged under 3.)
An application for a passport for a child is made on form APS 1 if living in the State, or form APS 2 if living in Northern Ireland or abroad. The child's full birth certificate, showing the names of his/her parents, must be submitted with the form. The application form includes a section for parental consent which must be signed. What additional documentation needs to accompany the application depends on a number of factors, including when and where the child was born.
An application to renew a passport for a child under 18 years of age must be accompanied by the child's old passport. If the old passport was issued before 2005 you must also submit the child’s birth certificate. If you are renewing a child’s passport which has been issued since January 2005, you do not need to submit the birth certificate unless:
- The child’s birth has been re-registered since the old passport was issued or
- You are submitting a sole guardian affidavit or a court order
If you are the sole guardian, you have to provide an up-to-date affidavit (AFF 1) stating that you are the sole guardian each time you apply to renew your child's passport – see 'Parental consent' below.
Application is made on form APS 1 or APS 2, as appropriate. Children’s passports cannot be renewed online.
If you are or were married to the other parent of your child, and the other parent is still alive, or if you are a joint guardian of the child, both parents/guardians must sign the parental consent section (Section 7) of the passport application form. If you are not in touch with your child's other parent/guardian, or if that parent/guardian refuses to give consent, you can apply to the District Court for a court order, which will allow the Passport Office to issue the passport without that consent.
Sole guardian: The situation is different if you are the sole guardian of a child. This can happen if you are a single mother and the father has not arranged to become a joint guardian. It also happens if the other parent/guardian is deceased. If the father's name is on the child's birth certificate and he is willing to sign, both of you can sign the parental consent section. Alternatively, instead of the father signing the parental consent section, you will have to provide an affidavit (AFF 1) stating that you are the sole guardian. This should be completed in the presence of a solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths. If the other parent/guardian is deceased, you will also have to provide a death certificate. If a death certificate is not yet available as the coroner has to hold an inquest into the death, you should provide an Interim Certificate of the Fact of Death which is issued by the coroner.
Babies born in the UK: If the birth was jointly registered by both parents in Northern Ireland or Great Britain, the father may have joint guardianship even if the parents never married.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has more information on parental consent on its website.
Children born in Ireland
Children born before 1 January 2005
A first-time application for a passport must be accompanied by the child's full birth certificate. See above for information on renewing a passport.
Children born on or after 1 January 2005
Where your child was born on or after 1 January 2005 on the island of Ireland, your child's entitlement to a passport is determined by your or the other parent's citizenship, or by your or the other parent's residence history prior to the birth. Therefore, in addition to the child's full birth certificate, other documentation must be supplied with the application as evidence of this citizenship or residency.
Where a parent is an Irish citizen, or is entitled to be, the full birth certificate or passport of that parent must be provided.
Where a parent is a British citizen, that parent's passport is required.
Where a parent is a national of an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland, the parent must have resided in the island of Ireland for a total of 3 or more years during the 4 years immediately before the birth. That parent's passport, or national identity card, and Declaration Form A (pdf) must be provided. (Declaration Form B is used by a guardian, or someone acting in loco parentis, where the parent is unable to make the declaration.) As proof of that parent's residency the following documents can be supplied:
- Tax records, including P60, P45 and P35L certificates
- Records of any social welfare benefits or a statement from the Department of Social Protection confirming that the parent received benefits and giving exact dates
- Other documents to fill any gaps in periods of residency, such as, pay slips, utility bills, an official rent/lease agreement, a rent book or bank statements showing local transactions
The documents must be originals. Copies are not accepted.
Where a parent is not a national of an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland, the parent must have been lawfully resident in the island of Ireland for a total of 3 or more years during the 4 years immediately before the birth. (This does not include periods awaiting a decision on refugee status or residency granted specifically for the purpose of study.) The following must be provided:
- That parent's passport as well as a detailed note indicating which pages contain immigration stamps covering the reckonable periods of residence. If the passport office is unable to confirm the required three years residence from the passport, the parent will have to get a letter from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to confirm the reckonable periods of residence.
- That parent's registration card issued by the GNIB.
Where a parent has been granted refugee status prior to the birth, there is no 3-year residency requirement. The following must be provided:
- That parent's passport or travel document
- The letter from the Department of Justice and Equality notifying that parent that refugee status had been granted
- That parent's registration card issued by the GNIB (if available)
Where a parent has permission to reside in Northern Ireland without any time restriction and that parent is not a national of an EU/EEA Member State or Switzerland, a certificate of nationality in respect of the child must first be obtained from the Department of Justice and Equality. The certificate and that parent's passport must be provided.
To obtain a certificate of nationality, that parent must complete Declaration Form C (pdf) which can be obtained from the Department of Justice and Equality. (Declaration Form D is used by a guardian, or somone acting in loco parentis, where the parent is unable to make the declaration.)
Children born abroad
If your child was born abroad and you were born in the island of Ireland, your child's full birth certificate, your full birth certificate and your marriage certificate (if applicable) must be provided.
If neither you or your child's other parent were born in Ireland, then the child's certificate of entry in the Foreign Births Register, which was issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the child's birth certificate must be supplied.
If you are an Irish citizen and your child was born abroad and adopted under Irish law, the certificate of entry in the Irish Adoption Authority's Register of Intercountry Adoptions as well as your passport or birth certificate is required. (If you are living abroad and adopted your child abroad, you should apply for the adoption to be entered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions.)
The fee when applying for a child's Irish passport using An Post's Passport Express (see below) or through an embassy or consulate is €30.
This fee does not include the charge payable to An Post for using its Passport Express service.
When applying for a child’s passport in person at a Passport Office (see’Contacts’ below) the fee is €45.
Emergency charge: There is an additional charge of €38 if you require a child passport urgently (within 3 to 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 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 Office.
The Passport Express service is also available through UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland (pdf).
When applying for a passport through an 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.
How to pay
You can pay for an 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.
Emergency travel document
While emergency travel documents are usually not issued to minors, in the case of a genuine and life-threatening medical emergency involving a child, the duty officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may issue an emergency travel document that is valid for a limited amount of time.
How to apply
It is not possible to apply for (or renew) a child’s 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 living in the State, you should fill out form APS 1, which is available from Garda stations and at any Post Office.
If you are 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 your application correctly. The application form must be signed by an official witness who can confirm the details given.
In all applications for a child's passport, as well as the completed application form, you must submit:
- Four passport photographs of the child, 2 of which have been signed by a witness as per instructions provided with the application form
- Proof of Irish citizenship (as described above)
- Child's birth certificate (may not be required when renewing – see 'Renewals' above)
- Child's old passport (if applicable)
- Appropriate fee
Treoir provides information on passports for children of unmarried parents on its website.
Further information on how and where to apply for a passport is available in our document on applying for an Irish passport.
Signing the passport
When you receive your child's passport, your child should sign it. If your child is not able to sign their name, it should be left blank.