As part of an ongoing Passport Reform Programme, an online passport application service was launched on 30 March 2017. To date over 160,000 adults have renewed their passport using the online facility, with an average processing time of less than 10 working days. At present, the online passport application service accommodates adult passport renewal applications and passport card applications. My Department plans to roll out a similar service for the renewal of children’s passports by the end of 2018. In addition, the options available to online adult renewal applicants will be expanded, allowing for business passport applications, change of name, and permitting observations to be recorded on passport books.
The online passport application service has made a major contribution to the effective management of high application volumes. As more applications are processed online, staff have been freed up and reallocated to other essential work in the Passport Service such as fraud and integrity.