October: Launch of the Irish Passport Card
In October 2015, Ireland became one of the first countries in the world to launch a Passport Card.
The Passport Card allows Irish citizens to travel to 31 countries, including European Union member states, the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, and Switzerland, without needing to carry their passport book. It can be applied for online, or through a dedicated app, allowing Irish citizens to apply directly from their mobile device.
Designed to fit in a standard wallet or purse, the Passport Card is convenient and secure to carry when travelling. It is particularly valuable for frequent or long-haul travellers, as it facilitates travel within Europe while their passports may be held by foreign embassies for visa processing purposes. The card can also be used as an identity document or for age verification, both at home and abroad, avoiding the need for Irish citizens to carry a passport book with them and risk the inconvenience and expense of it being lost or stolen.
Over 13,000 people applied for the Passport Card in the last three months of 2015. The project underlines the commitment of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to expanding the provision of public services through online and mobile media.
This design and development of the Card, which includes the first use of embedded hologram photographs on a travel document, involved several of Ireland’s leading technology and secure printing companies and puts Ireland at the forefront of innovation in this field.
More information, including how to apply for a card, can be found at: www.dfa.ie/passportcard