Fine Gael Kildare South TD Martin Heydon has urged holiday makers to ensure that their passports are valid well in advance of travelling and to consider the use of the online renewal system to save time.

“During the busy holiday season nobody wants to be caught out with a passport that has expired, and the last thing you need while planning your holiday is to be worrying about a passport application. The new Online Passport Application service is the cheapest and most convenient way for an adult to renew a passport.

“You can apply online anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no need for a paper application form, witnesses or printed photos.

Since its launch over 200,000 applications for passport renewals have been received online. For online applications, the turnaround time is two weeks plus postage.

“This is always a busy time of the year for passport applications and I would urge adult applicants wishing to renew their passports to avail of the online passport application service where possible. While the new online option is only available for adult renewals at present, the Passport Reform Programme aims to roll out further online application services for children by the end of this year.

“It is very important that applicants choose the most appropriate application channel, depending on their individual circumstances. Passport Express should only be used by those who are travelling in three weeks or more and where the online service is not an option. Anyone renewing a passport who needs to travel in under three weeks should either apply online or by appointment at the Passport Office in either Dublin or Cork.

“The continued uptake of the Online Passport Application service has benefits for all applicants, as more applications are processed online, resources within the Passport Office can be reallocated towards reducing the turnaround times for other categories of applicants.

“My offices in Newbridge and Athy are happy to assist the public with any passport related queries but obviously the earlier we get the details the better for a successful outcome.”