Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (141)

Hildegarde Naughton

Question:

141. Deputy Hildegarde Naughton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the status of the roll-out of online renewal for children’s passports since the project commenced in November 2018; the number of online child applications by county since then; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29631/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The award-winning Online Passport Renewal Service was launched in March 2017 and offers the convenience of an online application system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Irish citizens anywhere in the world.

In November 2018, the Online Passport Renewal Service was expanded to include the online renewal of children’s passports, to introduce a passport card for children, and to expand the cohort of adults eligible to renew online.

Since the expansion of the service last year, 71,384 online passport applications for children have been submitted. The table below details the county of residence of the applicants for those same applications submitted who were resident on the island of Ireland at the time of application.

County

Applications

DUBLIN

17,602

CORK

5,852

KILDARE

3,444

MEATH

3,142

GALWAY

3,025

LIMERICK

2,117

WICKLOW

2,096

LOUTH

1,775

WEXFORD

1,663

DONEGAL

1,650

TIPPERARY

1,612

CLARE

1,427

ANTRIM

1,362

WATERFORD

1,337

MAYO

1,322

KERRY

1,225

DOWN

1,121

KILKENNY

1,090

WESTMEATH

960

DERRY

846

LAOIS

816

CAVAN

778

ROSCOMMON

714

OFFALY

664

SLIGO

657

CARLOW

600

MONAGHAN

593

TYRONE

545

ARMAGH

412

LEITRIM

377

LONGFORD

335

FERMANAGH

147

BELFAST

11

TOTAL

61,317

The online service brings significant benefits for citizens with faster turnaround times of 10 working days for all online applications, excluding postage. In addition, the cost of renewing a passport online is significantly cheaper than alternative methods, with fees for all online applications being reduced by €5 across all application types.

Public feedback with regard to the ease of use and accessibility of the website and with regard to the 10 day turnaround time has been hugely positive. Last month, the online child passport renewal website won a UX (User Experience design) Award for “Innovation in UX”. The awards celebrate achievement in the Irish user experience sector.