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Public Services Card

The Passport Service of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would like to remind all first-time passport applicants aged 18 and above who are resident in Ireland to present a photocopy of their individual Public Services Card (PSC) for identification purposes when applying for their passport.

This requirement also applies to the small number of adult passport applicants whose last passport was issued prior to 1 January 2005 and has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged.
The measure is an important step considered necessary to enhance protections against fraud and identity theft and to uphold the integrity of the Irish passport. It will also ensure that the identity of first-time applicants for Irish passports continues to be verified to a high standard.

First-time adult passport applicants who currently don’t have a PSC can obtain one through a secure process of in-person registration via their local Department of Social Protection office. Details of relevant documents needed to complete the PSC registration process and an online appointment booking service are available via www.MyWelfare.ie.

The PSC is used increasingly as an efficient and secure means to access government services including social welfare services and for the purposes of free travel on public transport. Already over 1.8 million cards are in circulation.

The Passport Service underlines that this measure applies only to first-time adult applicants and in relation to renewals of passports issued before 1 January 2005 which are reported as lost, stolen or damaged. It does not apply in respect of applications for renewal of passports issued since 1 January 2005 or to passport applications for children. More information on passport procedures and documentary requirements are available at our Top Passport Questions page.

As a result of this, first-time applicants for adult passports will no longer need to supply a certified copy of documents such as their driving licence or student card for identification purposes. It also means that applicants don’t need to present additional proof of name. However, proof of address will continue to be required.

Questions:

What is a Public Services Card?

A Public Services Card (PSC) is issued by the Department of Social Protection and is the principal identity document by which citizens can access Public Services in Ireland. The PSC removes the need to register separately each time a citizen deals with a public body.

Where can I find out more about a Public Services Card?

See www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Public-Services-Card-holder for more information on the Public Services Card.

What does a PSC look like?

The PSC resembles a credit card in size and contains a photograph of the holder on the front. The holder’s PPSN is shown on the back of the card.

How many people will be affected by the new requirement to submit a photocopy of your PSC when applying for a passport?

The new requirement only impacts on adults who are applying for a passport for the first time or who report that a passport issued prior to 2005 as having since been lost, stolen or damaged. There are nearly 2 million PSCs currently in circulation so many first-time passport applicants will already be in possession of one.

Do I need a PSC to renew a passport?

People applying to renew their passport will not need a PSC unless their previous passport was issued prior to 2005 and it has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged. All other passport renewal applications will continue to simply require that the applicant submit their previous passport for cancellation.

What age counts as a child for passport purposes?

Persons over the age of 18 are considered to be adults.

I don’t have a PSC and I need to travel urgently, what do I do?

If travel is required at short notice for urgent reasons, the Passport Service and the Department of Social Protection will try to expedite the PSC registration process in time to allow the passport to be issued. In cases where this does not prove possible, the Passport Service will consider each individual application on its merits and will facilitate the applicant if there are extenuating circumstances.

Do I send my PSC card to the Passport Office when applying for a new passport?

No. You should never send your PSC card to the Passport Office in the post via Passport Express. Simply send a photocopy of the card along with your application and other documents required.

How much does a PSC cost?

The PSC is issued free of charge to the applicant.

I have lost my PSC, what do I do?

If you do not have your PSC in your possession, you should contact the Department of Social Protection to obtain a replacement card. See www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Public-Services-Card-holder

Will the new requirement have an impact on passport renewal times?

The only passport renewals affected by the new requirements are those where the applicant’s previous passport was issued prior to 2005 and has since been reported as lost, stolen or damaged. If a photocopy of the applicant’s PSC is submitted in these cases, the passport renewal time will not be impacted.

Why is this new requirement being introduced?

The PSC requirement is being introduced as a means of enhancing the security of the passport-issuing process and so as to maintain the Irish passport’s strong reputation at international level.

Will photo ID still be required as well as the PSC?

No, the PSC will be considered as photo ID for passport applications in these categories and will also serve as proof of the name of the applicant. It will therefore actually replace two proofs of ID which were previously required.