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Passport Service Handling Record Application Levels

Minister Flanagan at the launch of the Passport Card in October 2015

Passport Service Handling Record Application Levels

This year the Passport Service has been handling record levels of passport applications. The numbers are already up 14% over the same period in 2015, which itself was a record year with over 670,000 passports issued.

Summer is traditionally the busiest time for the Passport Service, and this year continues that trend with factors including an increase in outbound travel, the Euro 2016 Soccer Championships and new US travel requirements for biometric passports contributing to the surge in demand.

Passport applications are up 14% on the same period in 2015

The Passport Service has put in place measures to meet this demand including deploying extra temporary staff and offering overtime for existing staff. Nevertheless, for peace of mind, we strongly recommend that customers apply for their passport at least six weeks prior to the intended date of travel, and take care to ensure the application is complete and accompanied by the correct documentation to avoid delays. Also don’t forget to check the remaining validity period of your passport before you book a trip.

The Passport Service is working hard to provide a modern, secure and timely service to customers. We aim to get your passport to you as quickly as possible. However to maintain the high standards of security and integrity of the Irish Passport we must allow sufficient time to process applications. Customer service improvements we have introduced in recent years include a facility to track your passport online, a passport reminder service and a passport appointments service. Further customer service enhancements are coming soon.

Passport Card

The Passport Service has also proudly introduced Europe’s first Passport Card , a handy credit-card sized card which allows holders to travel to countries in the EU, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. The application process is fully online. The card is likely to be particularly useful to frequent travellers to Europe and those that have their passports tied up in Embassies frequently for visa purposes. The card can also be a useful and convenient additional form of identification.

Remember to follow the Passport Office on Twitter for regular updates. You can also direct queries to @passportIRL

Applying for a passport:

  • A guide to How to Apply for a Passport, is available on our website.
  • On the Passport Service website, you can also access a Passport Tracking service to track the status of your application. Use the 11-digit barcode number (on the receipt issued by An Post) to track the passport application.
  • If you use Passport Express to renew your passport and you have completed the application correctly, we aim to get your new passport to you within 15 working days from the time it is posted. However this is a target rather than a guarantee so please apply in plenty of time (we recommend at least 6 weeks in advance of any travel). Please note that first time applications, and applications to replace lost/ stolen/ damaged passports take longer due to the extra security checks required.
  • If you are travelling in less than 15 working days, we recommend that you make an appointment at our offices in Mount Street, Dublin, or in Cork. Priority at public counters is given to those travelling at short notice.
  • If you sign up to our Passport reminder service you will be alerted to you renew your passport 3 months before it expires.

Do you have a passport-related question?

We try to answer all calls to the Passport Service, but demand is high at busy periods. To save time you can look at answers to the most common passport questions here on our website. We have information on fees, photo guidelines, turnaround times and lost or stolen passports. Among the questions answered are:

Current turnaround times

You can find up to date information on current renewal times on our website. It is important to note that the Passport Service recommends that people should always check the validity of their passports before booking their travel. We advise applying at least 6 weeks in advance of your travel date when using the Passport Express service for the following reasons:

  • First time applicants or those who are replacing a lost or stolen passport must allow more time for compliance and passport entitlement checks;
  • Leave ample time, as a contingency for applications that may be incomplete or are not compliant with Passports Act, 2008.
  • Demand on all passport services is high at present, and is expected to remain so over the summer period. Remember, the turnaround period above indicates a performance level at a particular time. It is not a stated guarantee of service for applications.

Find out more

Our website provides information on the passport system, a reminder service and frequently asked questions.

Check out the Passport Office’s Twitter account @PassportIRL for more information and regular updates.