Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Questions (83)

Catherine Murphy


83. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the basis for refusing to issue a passport renewal in respect of a person (details supplied); the instances in which a person must produce a public services card in order to obtain a passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37777/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

Since March 29 2016, the Passport Service has required all first time passport applicants, aged 18 and above, who are resident in Ireland to submit a copy of their Public Services Card (PSC) with their passport application. This requirement also applies to adult applicants whose most recent passport has expired more than five years previously and to adult applicants whose passport was issued before 1 January 2006 and has been reported as lost, stolen or damaged.  

The application referred to was registered with the Passport Service in March of this year. The Passport Service did not issue a passport to the applicant on the grounds that the applicant declined to submit a copy of their PSC, which was required for the applicant's specific category of application. The basis for rejecting an application where a PSC is required and not submitted is Sections 6 and 7 the Passports Act, 2008 (as amended) and section 263(3) of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005.

The Passport Service is aware of the Data Protection Commission’s concerns on matters pertaining to the PSC. I have directed the Passport Service to undertake a review of documents required for first time adult passport applicants with specific reference to the requirement to submit a copy of their PSC as part of their application.

The Passport Service will continue to accept a copy of an applicant’s PSC as valid identification for first time adult applications and other applicable categories of application. Where the applicant does not present their PSC, an application can proceed if an applicant either presents original Government-issued photographic identification, such as a driver’s licence or a passport from another country, or attends for interview in person at the Passport Offices in Cork or Dublin.

Passport Service staff will contact the applicant directly.