Passport Card for EU Travel available from July - Tullys Travel

Passport Card for EU Travel available from July

A new credit-card size passport card, valid for travel within the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), will be available from mid-July at a cost of €35.

However, it will be an optional supplement to, rather than a replacement for, the existing passport book.

While citizens of most other EU member states and the EEA have national identity cards which act as a travel document in the EEA and Switzerland, the Irish Government failed to introduce such a card here — even though the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Social and Family Affairs recommended its introduction as far back as 2009.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the passport card would be something of “a world first for Ireland” in that it would be available for international air travel.

Mr Flanagan acknowledged some European airlines accepted national identity cards for travel within some parts of the EU, but he said the passport card would be the first to be “universally acceptable” for air travel within the EU and EEA.

The new card will be valid for a maximum of five years.

A smartphone app has been launched to allow people apply for the card and includes a feature that will take a photograph to meet international standards for passports

Mr Flanagan said he believed the new card will be particularly appealing to young people — whose student ID cards are not accepted as proof of identification on a night out.

“As a father I have often felt concern about the impracticality of the passport booklet as a means of identification for young people on nights out and this new card will be a far more practical option,” Mr Flanagan said.

He said the back-up passport would also be of use to travellers whose regular passport is with an embassy as part of a visa application process and for those who lose their passport while travelling in Europe.

A number of security features are incorporated in the new card including an embedded hologram photo. Details on the card will include name, date of birth and passport number.

As well as the smartphone app, citizens will be able to apply for the new card online.

It will not initially be valid for use beyond EU and EEA borders.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the initial set up of the passport card project will cost €416,000.

 

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