Need for gardaí to sign passports to be reviewed

It’s every holidaymaker’s nightmare — realising just a couple of days before they are due to travel that their passport is out of date.

Cue panic to get exactly the right photographs (no smiling, no hair bands, correct dimensions, correct lighting, correct angle, eyes wide open, no skin blotches, right glasses positioning, etc), before getting the application for a new document and the photographs signed by a garda before rushing it into the nearest passport office as quickly as humanly possible.

The second part of that tortuous and nerve-wracking process could well be about to be phased out with the Government confirming that it has launched a review of the need for the garda to witness the document.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said that, due to increased workload on gardaí, the Passport Service is reviewing the witnessing process.

“The process used to apply for a passport card is serving as a pilot for an online application form,” he said.

“It is anticipated that the Garda witnessing requirement for adults renewing their passports will be reviewed in tandem with a number of new identity verification and anti-fraud measures including increased reliance on the public services card as the core identity verification mechanism for all passport applicants in the State.”


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