Ireland launches selfie-enabled passport card


Ireland has launched a passport card which holders can apply use to travel across Europe without needing their traditional passport.

The document costs €35 (US$39) and is valid for five years. Applications can be made online or using an app that allows the applicant to take a selfie as a passport picture.

Irish citizens can use it travel to 30 countries including EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The facial image taken through selfies is matched using biometric tools against existing records, although users can also scan normal passport photographs.

“It is, in effect, a passport and it carries all the attributes and entitlements of a passport and should be treated with great care, as you would a passport,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan told reporters at an event to launch the card.

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

The security features of the card have incorporated the advice of security experts including An Garda Síochána. One innovative feature of note is the embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse of the card. This is the first occasion on which this security feature will be used on travel documents.

Different types of ink, including thermochromic ink (which changes colour when rubbed) are used in its production as are a number of different printing techniques.


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