Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (126)

John Brady


126. Deputy John Brady asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department sought and received legal advice before removing the requirement of the public services card by the Passport Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39837/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department has engaged with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the Public Service Card (PSC) on a number of occasions, including in the context of the Data Protection Commission’s report on the PSC. As the Deputy will be aware, such legal advice is confidential. I am satisfied that the requirements of my Department in relation to proof of identity have at all times been in accordance with the requirements of data protection legislation

Upholding the integrity of the Irish passport is a key commitment of the Passport Service. The Passport Service believes that the presentation of the PSC is an important means of identity verification for applicants, particularly adult applicants making first time applications.  

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.

In circumstances 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.