Common mistakes with Passport applications

An explanation and some examples of why applications are sent back to applicants:

Regrettably,  applications received which are not in order cannot be accepted and must be referred back to the applicants. This delays the issue of these passports, particularly at peak times (April to August).

To assist applicants particular attention should be paid to the following as these are the items which generate the majority of queries.

Long Birth Certificate must be submitted with all applications for children, irrespective as to whether they had their own passport or were on a parent’s passport previously.

Additional documentation is now required from parents of children born in Ireland on or after 1 January 2005.  These are set out in the New Citizenship changes effective from 1 January 2005 notice on this site.

Application forms in the State must be witnessed at a Garda station.  The same Garda who witnesses the form must also sign his/her name on the back of one of the photographs.

Applications outside the State must be witnessed by one of the categories of person listed on the form.  The witness should enter their daytime contact number as this may need to be verified by the Passport Office/Mission. Passport applicants should therefore note that where it is not possible make contact with those witnessing applications then it is likely that the application will be rejected.

The parental consent section of the form, section 7, should be fully completed by parents and the person who witnesses their signatures.  Parents must sign in the presence of the witness.

Original certificates must always be submitted.  Photocopies of documents including birth certificates, marriage certificates etc. are not acceptable

Applicant's signature in the signature box of Section 8 of the form.  The signature should be kept within the signature box on the left hand side of Section 8 of the form.  Where the application is for a young child who is unable to sign, this box should be left blank and the parent/guardian should sign their own name in the signature box on the left hand side of Section 8 of the form.

Lost Passports. 

The statement of loss section of the form, section 6, must give a full and clear explanation as to the loss.  The applicant needs to resubmit all supporting documents, including long-form birth certificate, marriage certificate [if appropriate] etc.  If a person has lost his/her passport and does not declare this it will be discovered when the application is being registered at the Passport Office and this will be queried, delaying the application. Loss of passports is a very serious matter and where a person has lost more than one passport or where a full explanation has not been provided the Passport Office may only be able to issue very limited passport facilities, if at all.


Should be identical against a white or light grey background.  Applicants should ensure that the photographs submitted are clear and conform to the requirements set out on the application form.  Unacceptable photographs account for the highest proportion of rejected passport applications.  Study the photograph guidelines on this site and also the application form before making an application.

Individual passports for children.

Since 1 October 2004, children are now issued with individual passports.  Previous to this, parents could have children aged under 16 years included on their passport.  Such children may continue to travel to most countries on that parents passport up to their 16th birthday.  From age 16  upwards all persons require an individual passport for travel.  Every year there are many instances where families arrive at an airport and discover that a child who is now 16 who is named on a parent's passport but does not have an individual passport, and is not allowed to travel.  Parents are reminded to obtain individual passports for their children to ensure that this does not happen to them.

Lastly, apply in good time for your passport!


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