Passport Service - FAQs
We answer some of the most commonly asked questions about passports below. Please select a topic that matches your query:
You can also see our list of top questions for our Online Passport Renewal Service.
Have a question about photo requirements? See our top questions for photos.
Q. What is the best way to apply for a passport?
A. If you are renewing your passport, you may be able to apply online via our Online Passport Renewal Service. Renewing online is the cheapest and most convenient way to renew a passport and it can be done anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For eligibility criteria, see here.
Always make sure you choose the most appropriate application channel before you apply.
- If you are not eligible to use the Online Passport Renewal Service, or do not wish to submit your application online, you can still apply via Passport Express. This service is available through most An Post Offices in Ireland and at over 70 post offices in Northern Ireland.
- Processing times can vary depending on the type of application. For example, a first time application will take longer to process than a renewal application. For up to date turnaround times see here.
- Citizens residing overseas can renew their passport using the Online Passport Renewal Service. Queries regarding all other types of applications should be directed to your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate.
Always check that you and your family's passports are in date before you book a holiday. Apply at least 6 weeks before travelling.
Q. What documents do I need to submit with my application?
A. A guide to the documents you will need for paper applications can be found here. You can also try our easy to use How to Apply guide. For online applications, your will be told what documents are required for your own application towards then end of the application process. Alternatively, documentary requirements for online applications are also outlined here.
Q. Can I submit my application at the public counter in the Passport Office?
A. The public counter application service is currently unavailable as our public office is now closed due to COVID-19.
This is kept under regular review, with due consideration being given to public health protection measures.
Q. I have applied through Passport Express. Can I make an appointment in Mount Street or Cork Passport Office?
A. No, you can only have one application in the system at the time.
Make sure you choose the application channel that best suits your travel times before you apply.
Q. When will my passport be ready? Are turnaround times guaranteed?
A. If you have already submitted your application, you can track your application online for an estimation of when your passport will be issued. Up to date average turnaround times are available here. Turnaround times represent average processing times and are not a service delivery guarantee.
Q. I submitted my application based on your turnaround times but my target issue date is after my travel date. Can my application be expedited?
A. Turnaround times are a guideline only and will vary depending on the level of seasonal demand and other factors. The date given by the passport tracker is the most accurate estimation of when your passport will be issued.
Applications can only be expedited in the case of a genuine travel emergency, made necessary by the death, illness or welfare of a family member. In the case of a genuine emergency, please contact the Passport Service. Further information will be requested by the Passport Service including verifiable proof of emergency.
Q. Can I pay extra to speed up the process?
A. Once an application has been submitted, it is not possible to pay an additional fee to speed up an application.
Q. I am tracking my application and the target issue date has passed. What can I do?
A. Turnaround times are affected by seasonal demand. Please continue to track your application online. If the passport tracker has generated an alert message, it means that there is an issue with your passport application (for example, insufficient supporting documentation). When this happens, a letter is sent to you outlining the issue and the steps you need to take for your application to resume.
Q. My application has not appeared on the passport tracker. Is this normal?
A. In some cases, it can take five to ten working days for the application to appear on the passport tracker.
Q. I have lost my application/tracking number. Can you find it for me?
A. We may be able to find it. Contact the Passport Service and provide your name as it is to appear on your application, date of birth, mother’s surname, address and PPSN.
Q. The passport tracker has not updated recently. My target issue date has not changed. Is there a problem?
A. Your target issue date will not change, however, information about the status of your application will appear under the progress bar. If there is an issue with your application, we will contact you.
Q. I applied through Passport Express, can I collect my passport from Mount St/Balbriggan/Cork?
A. Passport Express is a postal service. We will note your request but there is no guarantee that collection can be facilitated. (Please note that the Balbriggan production facility is not a public office and collections are not facilitated at this location).
Q. I submitted an application through an Irish Embassy abroad but I can’t find it on the tracking system. When will it be ready?
A. The initial assessment of your application is performed by the Embassy/Consulate. Once entitlement is established your application will be sent to Ireland for processing and only then is it recorded on our tracking system. Until it appears on the tracking system, any requests for an update should be made via the Embassy/Consulate with which you submitted your application.
Q. Do I have to collect my passport myself?
A. If you submitted your application at the passport office in Mount Street, Dublin or Cork, you may nominate a person to collect it on your behalf. They must bring a signed letter from you authorising them to collect the passport and their own photo ID.
Your Passport Number is located on the top right hand corner of your passport. It will begin with the letter P or L and will be followed by another letter and 7 numbers (example PA1234567).
When your passport is renewed your passport number will change. If your passport application is still being processed it will not be possible to obtain the new passport number before the document is delivered.
If I phone the passport office can you discuss the application with me?
If the applicant is over 18, for data protection reasons, we cannot discuss this application with a third party. The applicant will need to contact the passport office. If the applicant is under 18 we can discuss the application with a parent/guardian.
No. If the applicant is over eighteen, for data protection reasons, we cannot discuss the application with a third party. We can only discuss applications directly with the applicant.
You can apply for a Passport Card to accompany your passport booklet. Passport Cards can be used for travel within the EU/EEAS and Switzerland, effectively giving you a second passport to travel within Europe while your passport book is being held at a foreign embassy for visa applications.
If you regularly travel on business outside the EU you may apply for a second business passport book. You must provide substantial evidence of the need for a second passport.
See here for further details on obtaining a second passport book
If there is an issue with your application, our staff will contact you and advise what you need to do to resolve the issue.
If you wish to make an enquiry about your application, there are a number of ways you can contact the passport service, including our easy to use web-chat facility. Please see contact details here.
You can also call in to the public offices in South Mall, Cork or Mount Street Lower, Dublin to make an enquiry about an existing application.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For our public offices, you do not need to make an appointment to enquire about an existing application. Our offices have dedicated counters for such enquiries. The appointment service is for submitting passport applications only. If you are submitting an application in one of the public offices you must make an appointment. To make an appointment for a passport application click here.
Emergency passports are issued strictly in emergency situations such as death of family member abroad or urgent medical treatment. Please contact the Passport Service. Further information will be requested by the Passport Service including verifiable proof of emergency. For travel emergencies outside of our office hours please call +353 1 408 2000.
You can return their passport for cancellation with a copy of their death certificate to:
Freepost PO Box 9718,
No, you do not need a passport to travel between Ireland and Great Britain, however, some carriers/airlines require a passport as proof of identification. You should check with your carrier.
For fraud prevention purposes, we insist that all applicants submit the originals of their birth and marriage certificates. We do not accept laminated, certified or photocopies of these documents.
If born/married in Ireland contact:
General Register Office,
8-11 Lombard Street East,
If born/married in Northern Ireland contact:
General Register Office for Northern Ireland,
49-55 Chichester Street,
Tel: 0300 200 7890
(028 9151 3101 if calling from outside Northern Ireland)
A general rule of thumb is to keep six months validity remaining on your passport from the date you’re returning home. You can travel right up to the date of expiry within the EU. However it is advisable to contact the embassy of the country to which you intend to travel with queries regarding their specific requirements.
You do not need to wait until your current passport has expired to apply for a new one.
It is advisable to apply at least six weeks ahead of any planned travel to avoid disappointment.
Q. I need my passport to travel for a new job/interview/business.The turnaround times for Passport Express nor the Online Passport Renewal Service will not be sufficient for my passport to be issues in time. Can my application be expedited?
If you have submitted your application it won’t be possible to expedite it as it is already in the system. It will be issued within the stated turnaround period.
If you have not submitted your application you should make an appointment to visit the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork. Please bring a copy of your travel details and confirmation of employment/interview.
No, you must apply for your Irish passport in the country where you live. Renew online or contact your nearest Irish Embassy and apply using an APS2 passport application form.
How to Apply for a Passport Guide
Track your Passport
You can track the progress of your Passport/Passport Card application using your 11-digit application number.