Longford people asked to check their passports to make sure they are safe and valid

Jessica.Thompson

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Jessica.Thompson

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Fiona Penollar

Fiona Penollar from the Passport Office is advising Longord people to ensure therir passport is valid.

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade received a whopping ten thousand applications for passports last Tuesday, according to the Head of the Passport Office, Fiona Penollar.

The Tuesday after the May Bank Holiday is the busiest day of the year,” she said.

That's probably because - especially after the beautiful weather we had that weekend - everyone is thinking about summer now and, more importantly, the summer holidays.

Advice 

But before you start looking for a getaway, Fiona has some valuable advice.

“The first thing I would say is to check your passport before you book your holiday - not just that it’s in a safe place. Actually check that safe place and makes sure it’s there and check if it’s valid,” she said.

“The other thing I would say is that children’s passports are of a different validity to adults’. They’re valid for five years, where an adult’s is valid for ten, so just look out for that.”

If your passport is out of date, though, there are a couple of ways you can get a new one.

“If you are over 18, not changing your name, and eligible for the online application, this is the best way to do it because you can do it all from the comfort of your own home,” Fiona explained.

There are three ways you can get your photograph sorted. The first is through your local photographer or chemist - just make sure you get an electronic copy.

Passport Office 

The Passport Office also has a partnership with Photo Me booths, which provide a code that you can key in online. Or you can take the photo yourself at home.

“I’m not talking about a selfie - you’ll need to get someone to take it for you. Make sure you have a clean, white background. And don’t worry - if your photo isn’t suitable, the online application will inform you,” Fiona advised.

If you're not eligible for an online application, you can apply through An Post Passport Express.

“The irony is this is no longer the fasted way but the name stuck,” said Fiona.

“It will take up to three weeks for a straightforward passport application and anywhere up to five or six weeks for a first time applicant or a lost or stolen passport, so make sure you give yourself enough time.”

If you don't have enough time to get your passport sorted by either of these methods, you can make an appointment at the Dublin or Cork offices, with a one-day turnaround.

“The other thing I’ll say is that an emergency to us is if you have a family member with a medical emergency abroad, or a death abroad. And in those cases, all rules are out the window and we will have your passport ready.

“Your passport getting lost or stolen two days before you travel is not classed as an emergency,” she concluded.

For more information on renewing your passport, see www.dfa.ie/passportonline.