Ireland launches credit-card sized passport for EU travel

26/01/15

Ireland has revealed plans to launch a smartcard that citizens can use in place of passports for travel within the EU and the European Economic Area.

Available from July, the card will be valid for a maximum of five years and costs €35 (US$39).

Speaking at the launch of the design for the new card, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanaga the passport card was something of “a world first for Ireland”.

He added that a similar passport card was already used by US citizens travelling on land between the US, Mexico and Canada.

Security features on the passport card include the holders signature, a kinegaram overlay featuring a 12 string harp, a machine readable zone and faded printing around the edge of the photograph.

The Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade said that the features of the card have incorporated the advice of security experts, including An Garda Síochána -  the national police service. One innovative feature of note, according to the department, is the embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse of the card.

DLRS based in Bray were the lead company in the design and production of these cards. They partnered with HID Global Ireland Teoranta based in Baile na hAbhann, Galway and Absolute Graphics based in Bray.

"The passport card will be particularly useful for young people who use their passport booklet as identification,” he said. "As a father I have often felt concern about the impracticality of the passport booklet as a means of identification for young people on nights out and this new card will be a far more practical option."

Citizens will be able to apply for the card online or through a smartphone app which allows photos to be taken that will meet international standards for passports.

National identity cards are issued to all European Union member states except Denmark and the United Kingdom. Citizens can use it as an identity document within their home country and a travel document to exercise the right of free movement in the EEA and Switzerland.

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Speaking at the launch of the design for the new card, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanaga the passport card was something of “a world first for Ireland”.
Speaking at the launch of the design for the new card, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanaga the passport card was something of “a world first for Ireland”.

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