New Requirements for First Time Adult Applicants
As of 29 March 2016, all first-time passport applicants aged 18 and above who are resident in Ireland will need to present a photocopy of their individual Public Services Card (PSC) for identification purposes.
This new requirement also applies to the small number of adult passport applicants whose last passport was issued prior to 1 January 2005 and has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged.
The measure is an important step to protect against fraud and identity theft and to uphold the integrity of the Irish passport. It will also ensure that the identity of first-time applicants for Irish passports continues to be verified to a high standard.
As a result of this new requirement, first-time applicants for adult passports will no longer need to supply a certified copy of documents such as their driving licence or student card for identification purposes. It also dispenses with the current requirement for additional proof of name. Proof of address will continue to be required.
First-time adult passport applicants who currently do not currently have a PSC can obtain one through a secure process of in-person registration via their local Department of Social Protection office. Details of relevant documents needed to complete the PSC registration process and an online appointment booking service are available via www.MyWelfare.ie.
The PSC is used increasingly as an efficient and secure means to access government services including social welfare services and for the purposes of free travel on public transport. Already over 1.8 million cards are in circulation.
The Passport Service underlines that the new measure applies only to first-time adult applicants and in relation to renewals of passports issued before 1 January 2005 which are reported as lost, stolen or damaged. It does not apply in respect of applications for renewal of passports issued since 1 January 2005 or to passport applications for children. Further details on passport policies and procedures are available at https://www.dfa.ie/passports-citizenship/.
As always, the Passport Service encourages citizens to submit their passport applications via the Passport Express service operated by An Post at least six weeks in advance of travel. Applicants should note that a photocopy of their PSC card is sufficient for the purpose of establishing identity and in no circumstances should original PSC cards be sent in to the Passport Office by Passport Express or any other means.