The five-year card — among the first of its kind in the world — costs €35 and will be accepted for travel within the EU and European Economic Area (EEA).
The EEA includes all 27 other EU count-ries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
While it was supposed to be available from July this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has announced online applications are now being taken from citizens.
“The introduction of the passport card is a significant innovation that will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they go on holidays or business trips to 30 countries throughout Europe,” said Mr Flanagan.
“Citizens who apply will need to have a valid passport book already but they will be able to use the passport card alone for travelling to such popular destinations as Spain, France, and Italy.”
Applications can be made online through the Department of Foreign Affairs website and also through a new mobile app designed for the passport card.
“I am particularly proud that we are one of the very first countries in the world to introduce such a passport card,” said Mr Flanagan.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said the initial set up of the passport card project will cost the taxpayer about €416,000.
The Passport Service expects it will be self-financing within three years.