Applications open for new passport card
Applications have opened for Ireland's new credit card-sized passport.
The five-year card - among the first of its kind in the world - costs 35 euro and will be accepted for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA includes all 27 other EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
While it was supposed to be available from July this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced online applications are now being taken from citizens.
"The introduction of the passport card is a significant innovation that will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they go on holidays or business trips to thirty countries throughout Europe," he said.
"Citizens who apply will need to have a valid passport book already but they will be able to use the passport card alone for travelling to such popular destinations as Spain, France and Italy."
Applications can be made online through the Department of Foreign Affairs website and also through a new mobile app designed for the passport card.
"I am particularly proud that we are one of the very first countries in the world to introduce such a passport card," said Mr Flanagan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said the initial set up of the passport card project will cost the taxpayer 416,000 euro.
The Passport Service expects it will be self-financing within three years.