Improvements to the Passport Online System announced by Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection
News28 April 2023
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin TD, and Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, have today (Friday, April 28) announced a number of improvements to the Passport Online System.
The measures will allow the Passport Service to access information held by the General Register Office (GRO) for the first time. This will reduce the need for physical documents to be submitted with passport applications.
The measures will be of particular benefit to parents of domestic first-time minor applicants.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin said:
“Today, I am pleased to announce a number of enhancements to the Passport Online System. Over 90% of citizens now apply for their passport with Passport Online and this additional enhancement to the system will greatly improve the application journey for citizens. In particular, the electronic access to GRO records means that - for most first-time, domestic, child applications - a physical birth certificate will no longer need to be submitted.”
Welcoming this agreement, the Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said:
“My Department has delivered an innovative project to make records of the General Register Office available online in real time for the first time. Today, I am happy to confirm that this initiative means the Passport Service will be able to access birth certificates electronically removing cost and inconvenience for customers.
“This is another excellent example of Cross-Departmental customer-focussed online service delivery which has been led by my Department and which will benefit an increasing number of citizens.”
The Tánaiste concluded by reminding citizens to check that their passport is in date:
“2023 continues to be a busy year for the Passport Service. As we approach the summer holiday season, it is important that citizens check that their passports are in date. If you need to renew or apply for your first passport, make sure and use Passport Online. Passport Online is the quickest and most cost-effective way to apply for your passport."
Notes for Editor
- The GRO operates as part of the Department of Social Protection and holds all records relating to births, stillbirths, adoptions, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths in Ireland.
- Following a data sharing agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the General Register Office, the Passport Service can request and securely receive a birth cert from the GRO database for passport applicants meeting the criteria mentioned below:
- The applicant is a child first time online application
- They are born in Ireland and the birth is registered with the GRO
- A PPSN has been provided
- The applicant is under joint guardianship as outlined in the birth certificate or single guardianship has been granted through a court order.
- Other changes to the online portal will allow the Passport Service to utilise the information provided by first time applicants to auto-generate a custom coversheet that will provide them with a bespoke list in plain English of the documents that passport applicants must submit as part of their application.
- An Eircode lookup feature has also been introduced, that will allow citizens to prepopulate the address fields as part of their online application.
- Phase 1 is for those aged under 18 and first time online applicants only.
- Phase 2 will extend to (i) other birth groups, (ii) marriage verification when a person changes their name on marriage, and (iii) death verification.
- Gender recognition certificates and adoption certificates are not accessible via the API.
- 370,000 passports have issued to date this year.
- Turnaround times are as follows:
- Online simple adult renewal - 10 working days
- Online child/complex adult renewal - 15 working days
- Online first time application, adult or child - 20 working days
- Post Passport via An Post, adult or child, first time or renewal - 8 weeks
Note: Turnaround time for online applications begins from the date that supporting documents are received.