New online passport renewal service

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Derry folk who wish to renew their Irish passports can now do so remotely after a new online initiative was launched by the Irish Passport Service yesterday.

The Online Passport Application Service (OPAS), a new service, which will allow adult Irish citizens in Ireland and across the world to apply to renew their passports via the Department’s website using their PCs, tablets or mobile phones, was launched by the Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan in Iveagh House on Thursday.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: “This new service is for adult (over 18) renewal applications only. First time applicants and children will not be able to apply online and the current system will still be in place for them.

“The service will allow citizens to renew their passport books and cards online from wherever they are in the world.

“The service will be convenient, secure and it will offer faster and more predictable turnaround times. People can apply via the Department’s website at www.dfa.ie using their PCs, tablets or mobile phones. The initiative is part of the passport reform programme which is modernising Ireland’s passport systems and controls and will bring further benefits to Irish citizens at home and abroad in the years ahead.”

The move will be welcomed by thousands of Irish passport holders in Derry but the progress won’t deter calls for a Passport Office in the city. The DFA has ruled this out for the time being, however, stating that the post office network remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to apply and that applications can be submitted at over 70 post offices in the North.