Anyone who has travelled abroad for any reason and left a passport renewal until very late in the day will probably remember the nightmare that is presenting yourself to the Passport Office for a ‘fast-track’ renewal. What we wouldn’t have done for the facility for Online Passport Application at times like those.
Remarkably there are still only two passport offices in the Republic of Ireland, one in Molesworth Street in Dublin, the other on South Mall in Cork. That’s great if you’re from Cork or Dublin, but it is painful if you’re from Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare – well, you get the idea.
If you are from Cork or Dublin it will take a large chunk out of your day to get your passport renewed, if you are from anywhere distant it will be a whole day to do something that, let’s be honest, shouldn’t really be that difficult. At the very least a trip to the passport office is an introduction into how bureaucracy grates on the nerves and how such institutions feel that your time is worth a lot less than theirs.
Well now, there is an option to avoid all this. The fact that it has taken the Passport Office until the end of 2012 to allow Online Passport Application is fairly damning, but at least it is now an option. If you zip over to www.passportappointments.ie you can now complete the whole Online Passport Application transaction online.
I’ve not actually had a chance to try the system out as my passport is in date for a few years yet, so any comments on how the whole system works would be much appreciated.