How to apply for your first Irish passport as an adult
This document explains how to apply for your first Irish passport, if you are over 18.
If your previous passport was issued 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 Passport Service strongly recommends that you apply for your passport at least 6 weeks before your travel date.
You can apply for a passport if you are aged 18 or over. If you are under 18, you need the consent of both parents or guardian(s) in writing to get your own passport — you can find out more in our document on passports for children.
You can apply for your first Irish passport:
- Online, through Passport Online
- By post, through Passport Express
- In person, through the Passport Office’s counter service or at an Irish embassy or consulte if you are living abroad
Passport applications and COVID-19
The Passport Service has resumed the processing of online applications for all passport types. You should expect delays to your application.
The processing of Passport Express applications will recommence on 4 August 2020 in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The turnaround time for processing paper based applications will be 6-8 weeks.
Passport phone lines are now open.
If you urgently need a passport to travel (because of the death or serious illness of a family member, or you need urgent medical treatment abroad), you should contact the Passport Service through webchat.
Passport Online service
From 1 November 2019, if you are living in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the EU, the EEA or Switzerland you can use the Passport Online service to apply for your first Irish passport.
You need access to a printer for your first passport application. You must also be able to pay by credit or debit card. You will have to send original documents to the Passport Service after you have completed the online application form.
You must include a digital photo as part of your online application. You can do this in three ways:
- Have your photo taken at a participating photo provider, who will give you a unique code to include with your online application.
- Have your photo taken at a photo provider, and ask them to email it to you, or save the photo on a USB device, or other storage method. You must have access to the photo when completing your online application
- Take a photo at home using a digital camera or smartphone. This cannot be a “selfie” and you should not use the zoom function of your camera. The photo must capture your image from the waist upwards.
You can read more about the photo requirements for the Passport Online service.
Proving your identity
- When your online application is completed, you will be asked to print an Identity Verification Form
- If you are applying in Ireland, this form must be signed by a member of the Garda Síochána
- If you are applying outside Ireland, the form can be witnessed by a person in one of the occupations listed on the Passport Online site, or on the verification form itself.
Once the application is completed, you will be asked to print an Application Cover Page. This will list the documents you have to send to the Passport Service. All documents sent must be original. The Passport Service recommends that you use a secure method of postage for sending your documents. A postage label is generated as part of your application (if you are applying in Ireland).
If you are applying outside Ireland, you should use a reliable postal service. In some countries, the local postal services are not reliable. In this case, you can submit your documents to your nearest Irish Embassy.
You can read more about the documents you may need to send below.
You can read Frequently Asked Questions about the extended Passport Online service.
Applying by post through Passport Express
Passport Express is a service provided by An Post.
If you are an Irish citizen living in Ireland, you should fill in form APS 1. You will find this form at Garda stations and at any post office. It is not currently possible to download the paper application form.
You must include 4 recent identical photographs of yourself with your application. Two of these photographs 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 the two signed photographs. If you are applying for your passport in Ireland the witness must be a member of the Garda Síochána.
You can get more detailed information on passport photographs.
Passport Express abroad
There are a number of UK Post Office branches in Northern Ireland that provide the Passport Express service (pdf). There are also two post offices in Great Britain offering Passport Express (Glasgow and Liverpool).
If you are applying abroad, the application form lists suitable categories of witness. The witness should enter their daytime contact number on the application form as this may need to be verified by the Passport Service or the relevant embassy or consulate.
Applying in person
It is not recommended to apply directly to the Passport Office for your first passport.
The counter service in the Passport Office is designed to accommodate people who need to renew their passports urgently, and don’t have enough time to apply in other ways. You can make your first-time applications using the counter service, but it cannot be processed urgently – it will take at least 20 working days (not including postage times). Applications made in person are more expensive than applying online or through Passport Express (see below)
If you are living abroad, in a country where Passport Express or Passport Online are not available, you can apply for an Irish passport in person or using ordinary or registered post to your nearest Irish embassy or consulate. You use form APS 2.
You cannot download the application form. You can get the application form from the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where you live (or the closest embassy or consulate).
Fees for passports
Standard 10-year, 34-page passport
- Passport Online - €75 (+ €5 postage if you live outside Ireland)
- Passport Express - €80 (+€9.50 fee)
- In person - €95
Large 10-year 66-page passport
- Passport Online – €105 ((+ €5 postage if you live outside Ireland)
- Passport Express - €110 (+€9.50 fee)
- In person – €125
An Post also offers a 'Family Application' option where up to 4 passport applications can be enclosed in one envelope. The additional charge for a Family Application is €16
What documents do I need?
You should submit the following documentation with your application:
- Your full civil birth certificate
- Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)
- Proof of address
- Proof of name
- Copy of your Public Services Card or original government issued photo identification document
- If resident in Northern Ireland or abroad, you must supply either an original passport, national ID card, social security card; or a certified copy of your driving licence
You may be required to send additional documents as well as those listed above depending on your particular situation.
If you were born abroad to a parent born in Ireland or Northern Ireland - you should also include:
- Your Irish-born parent’s birth certificate
- Your parents’ civil marriage certificate (if applicable)
If you became an Irish citizens through naturalisation - you should also include
- Your original naturalisation certificate
- Your original foreign passport (if available)
If you became an Irish citizen through the foreign birth register process – you should also include
- Your foreign birth registration certificate
- Your foreign passport
If you were adopted you should include:
- Your certificate of entry in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (If adopted abroad your adoption must be entered in the Register of Intercountry Adoptions)
- Your civil marriage or civil partnership certificate (if you have changed your surname)
- Your adoptive Irish parent’s birth certificate or Irish passport
- Your adoption certificate
If you became an Irish citizen through post-nuptial citizenship - you should include:
- Your post-nuptial certificate (this must have been issued before 30 November 2005)
If your documents are not in English you must also supply a certified English version, translated by a registered translator.
The Passport Office can request further documentation and/or interview applicants
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.
How long will my passport application take?
Online applications are completed in approximately 20 working days
If you are applying through the Passport Express service, you should allow at least 20 working days for your application to be processed (not including postage times). This period may be extended at certain times of the year due to increased application numbers.
First-time postal applications from the UK take at least 30 working days.
You can check the Passport Service website for current processing times
Tracking the progress of your application
The Passport Service provides a Passport Tracking Service. This service lets you check the status of your application online. You must have the application number from your form to use this service (this number is in the top left-hand corner of the application form).
Signing the passport
When you receive your passport, you should sign it. If it is a child’s passport, the child should sign it. If the child is not able to sign their name, it should be left blank.