Monday 26 September 2016

Going on holiday? You need to check your passport six weeks before travel

Summer checklist

Published 16/06/2016 | 00:00

Passport and boarding passes. File photo (Deposit)
Passport and boarding passes. File photo (Deposit)

An under-pressure Irish Passport Service is advising travellers to allow six weeks for renewals.

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The news comes as thousands of Irish football fans travel to France for Euro 2016, and the peak summer holiday period approaches.

Overall, passport applications are up 13pc in 2016 over the same period last year, a rise the Department of Foreign Affairs describes as "exceptional".

Half of all passport applications are received between April and July, with some 233 temporary clerical officers now in place to deal with the demand.

Holidaymakers are being urged to check the validity of their passports immediately, bearing in mind that children's passports last just three to five years.

Here are your renewal options, based on time before travel:

1. Normal passport renewals

An Post's Passport Express is the cheapest option for renewals.

Application forms are available from post offices and Garda stations, and the renewal fee is €80 for adults, €26.50 for children aged 3-17 and €16 for infants aged 0-3 (plus An Post's €9.50 fee).

You can also make an appointment, but this takes up to 15 days and costs €95.

Note that the turnaround time for first-time applicants is longer due to additional anti-fraud measures. Currently, this is around 22 working days.

2. Renewals for travel within three weeks

Applicants travelling within three weeks or less should make make an appointment to attend the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork in person.

Appointments can be made online using passportappointments.ie.

3. Urgent passport renewals

Holidaymakers travelling within three days can use the Rapid Renewal Service at the Dublin Passport Office (schedule appointments at 01 671-1633 or passportappointments.ie).

The Rapid Renewal service costs €150, and proof of travel must be provided. For children, both parents or guardians need to attend with photo ID.

Irish soccer fans who discover their passport is out of date before travelling to Ireland's remaining Euro 2016 games are being advised to act fast.

Euro 2016 fans should take their documents, along with four passport photos and an application form witnessed by a member of An Garda Síochana to the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork, the Department of Foreign Affairs advises.

Queries can also be directed to @passportIRL on Twitter.

Read more on how to renew your passport here.

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