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 Online Passport Application service is the safest, fastest and most efficient passport application process for an adult or child 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 450,000 applications for passport renewals have been received online. For online applications, the turnaround time is ten days plus postage but it is often far quicker than that.

“This is always a busy time of the year for passport applications and I would urge applicants wishing to renew their passports to avail of the online passport application service where possible.

“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.”