Ireland has launched a new passport card that will be accepted for travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area. The card will be available from mid-July to all Irish citizens who are over 18 and hold an Irish passport, Newstalk radio reports.

New Irish passport card
New Irish passport card

It will cost €35 and will be valid for a maximum of five years - or the remaining validity of a persons passport book. Unveiling the card in Dublin,  Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “The passport card will be particularly useful for young people who use their passport booklet as identification, especially on nights out.”

He also explained how it could be used as a back up to a normal passport. “Frequent travellers will find this particularly useful if their passport booklet is with an embassy as part of a visa application process. The new card will also provide a useful backup travel document within Europe in the event that someone loses their passport while travelling,” he added.

Traditional Irish passport
Traditional Irish passport

The card has incorporated a number of security features following advice from a number of sources, chiefly the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána, and includes an embedded hologram photo on a strip on the reverse. Coinciding with the announcement is the launch of a smartphone app which will make it very easy to apply for the card.

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