I WANT to visit my son in Australia this summer and have just realised my passport is out of date. How do I get it renewed and is it free as I am over 65?
SINCE April 11, passports are no longer free to those aged 65 and over. You will have to pay a fee of €80 for a standard 10-year, 32-page passport using Passport Express (as well as an additional charge of €8.50 which includes postage to/from the Passport Office). If you go direct to the Passport Office or use ordinary or registered post the fee is €95.
Passport Express is a service run by An Post which aims to deliver passports within 10 working days but it is advisable to apply well in advance of your planned departure. If you live in Northern Ireland you can use the Passport Express service through certain post office branches there.
If you are an Irish citizen living in the State, you should fill out form APS 1. Use this form if applying for a new, renewal or replacement passport. You will find these forms at every Garda Station and at any Post Office that displays the “Service Plus” logo. You must return the application form with the fee as well as 4 approved-size passport photographs (2 of which must be signed by a witness), proof of your Irish citizenship (where required) and your most recent Irish passport (if you have one). It is not possible to apply for an Irish passport online. It is also not currently possible to download the application forms.
If you require a passport urgently, you should contact the Passport Service. Applications in Ireland with proof of travel (e.g. airline tickets) are guaranteed to be processed within 3 working days. There is an extra charge for the urgent service - €55 for an adult and €30 for a child. You can track the progress of your passport application through the Passport Tracking Service. This service allows you to check the status of your application online. In order to do this, you must have the application number from your form (available in the top left-hand corner of the form).
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Co Offaly Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public at the Bridge Centre, Tullamore. Tel: 057 93 52204.
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, Lo-call 1890 777 121 or (021 4521600).