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New selfie-friendly passport card delayed to September



Posted on: 22 Jun 2015

The new Irish Passport Card will not be available to holidaymakers this summer, Independent Travel has learned.

The new card, originally planned for launch in July, is now expected to be available from the end of September, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In January, Minister Charlie Flanagan launched the Passport Card and gave the target date of availability as July.

"However to improve the durability of the card the manufacturer deemed it necessary to alter the polycarbonate structure," the department's press office says.

"This will mean that the card issued to the public meets the highest international standards of polycarbonate cards.

"It has caused a slight lengthening of the time it takes to manufacture the card, and the new target date of issue is mid to end of September."

The new card, which will cost €35, will be available to all Irish citizens who are over 18 and hold a valid Irish passport.

It will launch together with a free smartphone app, through which users can apply for cards and take selfies that meet international standards for passports.

The credit-card-sized passport is designed to fit in a wallet or purse, and will be accepted for travel within the EU and the European Economic Area.

It will be useful to travellers whose regular passport is with an embassy as part of a visa application process, and will also be accepted as a form of ID.

"The passport card will be particularly useful for young people who use their passport booklet as identification, especially on nights out," Minister Flanagan has said.

Applications can be made online or via the app from the end of September, the press office says.

The card will have a maximum validity of five years (or the remaining validity of an individual’s passport book), and security features include an embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse side.

This is the first occasion on which this security feature will be used on travel documents.