Smartphone app means 'credit card' passports will accept selfies
Irish passport holders will be able to take a selfie for the new passport card in lieu of the traditional professional photo.
The new-style ID, which is the size of a credit card, was launched yesterday by Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.
Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to introduce this style of passport.
Irish citizens who hold a valid Irish passport can apply for the card online and through a free smartphone application. The card, which is for over-18s, costs €35, is valid for five years and will be accepted in 30 European countries.
A number of Irish companies were involved in the design, which "adheres to the highest levels of security".
Mr Flanagan described it as "a most significant innovation".
"It will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they travel abroad," he said in Dublin's passport office.
"This is an Irish-led, Irish- designed project combining cutting edge technology.
"The card will be recognised by all the major airlines oper- ating out of Ireland, and it covers key destinations for Irish business travellers and holidaymakers."
Mr Flanagan said the applic- ation system includes a "photo- graph compliance test component".
"This means that applicants can take a selfie and check the photograph meets the international passport standard requirements prior to the submission.
"I am particularly proud that Ireland is one of the first countries in the world to introduce such a passport card."
The processing time is currently estimated at 20 days.
The new card can be used to travel within European Union member states as well as the countries within the European Economic Area.
Mr Flanagan's department said it is not necessary to cancel the card if a traditional passport 'book' is lost or stolen.
The minister said the new card will be an "invaluable and important document", and he called for it to be given "the full respect that it deserves and that it be safeguarded in the most careful way".