Saturday 23 September 2017

Renewing your passport? You can now track applications online

Irish Passport Service

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan launching the Irish Passport Card for use in 30 European Countries. Pic: MAXWELLS/JULIEN BEHAL.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan launching the Irish Passport Card for use in 30 European Countries. Pic: MAXWELLS/JULIEN BEHAL.
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Passport applicants can now track applications online and get 'real-time' responses to customer service queries.

The new tracking and webchat services are part of an ongoing, €18.6 million modernisation of the Irish Passport Service.

Since 2015, the programme has delivered selfie-friendly passport cards (below) and enhanced security features, among other changes.

Online passport renewals are expected to be introduced this year.

The new tracking service will allow passport applicants to track progress of their application "in a visually dynamic way with a progress bar animation," according to the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade.

The "web-chat social media service" will facilitate “real time” communication between the Passport Service and applicants, it says.

The new Irish Passport Card (sample).
The new Irish Passport Card (sample).

The €18.6m reform aims to deliver "a more efficient, integrated and citizen-focused passport service with an increased emphasis on fraud detection and prevention measures," said Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade.

Ireland's Passport Service processed a record 733,000 passport renewals last year, and the new services are also designed to ease travel planning and reduce the need to contact the Service for updates, the Department adds.

The customer service enhancements were announced at the Holiday World Show in Dublin's RDS today, where Minister Flanagan also took the opportunity to remind people to check their passports' validity before travel.

Passport renewals are expected to rise by 9pc this year.

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