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Increase of 5 per cent in people using Passport Express

A total of 631,186 passports were issued in 2013 – and 5 per cent more people used Passport Express.

The new style of Irish passport, issued this year.
The new style of Irish passport, issued this year.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

A TOTAL OF 631,186 Irish passports were issued in 2013, with 5 per cent more people using Passports Express to get theirs than during the previous year.

There were 385,914 passports issued to adults, while 449,033 Passport applications were received through the Passport Express service, a 5 per cent increase over 2012.

While 46,195 applications were received through the London Passport Office, a total of 44,453 applications were received through the Northern Ireland Passport Express service.

The following diplomatic offices had the highest demand after London:

  • Canberra (6,101)
  • New York (5,104)
  • Sydney (3,366)
  • San Francisco (3,083)
  • Ottawa (2,599)

With 89,898 passports issued in July 2013 and 82,797 in May 2013, these were the busiest months for new passports.

This year, the Department launched a newly-designed passport booklet with enhanced security features. A new appointments service and an online guide to applying for a passport were also launched.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD said:

The Department strives to provide a quick, secure and affordable passport service. With an increasing number of people using the Passport Express service, we have been able to meet a high level of demand with quicker turnaround times.

The Tánaiste reminded Irish citizens to check the expiry date of their passport and to bear in mind that many countries require incoming travellers to hold passports which are valid for at least six months.

Almost 50 per cent of all passport applications are received in the four months from April to July. Currently the passport service is receiving 8,000 applications a week compared to 19,000 applications per week in July.

The Tánaiste said he strongly advises citizens who are planning to renew their passport in 2014 to do so in the off-peak period.

It was announced in May of this year that anyone applying for a passport from June 2013 would have to apply using the Passport Express service from An Post, rather than regular or registered post.

It is still possible to apply for a passport in person in Dublin or Cork’s passport offices.

Read: Irish embassies around the world issued 94,363 passports last year>

Read: Passport applicants must use ‘Express’ service from 30 June>

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