The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, has announced that applications from Irish citizens for the new passport card are now being accepted online.

This is a new innovation that will allow Irish citizens to travel within all 30 countries of the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA), however travelers must have their passport books for all other travel, including to the United States.

Adult citizens who already have a valid Irish passport book are eligible to apply for the card, which is designed to fit readily into any wallet or purse.

Irish Passport Card is now available for Irish passport holders, apply online or with app

— Irish Embassy Dar (@IrlEmbTanzania) October 5, 2015
Speaking at the announcement of the new service, Minister Flanagan said, “I am delighted to announce that applications for the new passport card can be submitted online from today through my Department’s website and also through a new mobile app which has been specifically designed for the purpose.

"The introduction of the passport card is a significant innovation that will enhance the travel experience for Irish people as they go on holidays or business trips to thirty countries throughout Europe. Citizens who apply will need to have a valid passport book already, but they will be able to use the passport card alone for traveling to such popular destinations as Spain, France and Italy.

"This an Irish-led and Irish-designed project that combines cutting edge technology and security features with ground-breaking levels of user-friendliness and flexibility.”

New Irish Passport Card launched: Everything you need to know

— Sunday World (@sundayworld) October 5, 2015
The Minister added, “I am particularly proud that we are one of the very first countries in the world to introduce such a passport card. It represents a very positive story of Irish-led creative thinking and innovation and illustrates that we are very much pioneers in this area.

"It also underlines the Government’s commitment to the expanded provision of public services online.”

Here’s what you need to know:

- Citizens must be over 18 years of age to apply for a passport card.

- Citizens must be in possession of a valid passport book to apply for a passport card.

- Passport card personal details must be exactly as they are on the applicant’s passport book.

- The card has a maximum validity of five years or the remaining validity of the passport book.

- There must be at least 30 days validity on the passport book.

Read more: How to get an Irish passport

- The application fee is €35 plus a credit card transaction cost. Additional delivery costs outside Ireland are approximately €5.

- Applications will be received online via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website or through the free app for smart phones and tablet devices which is available in iOS (via Apple App Store), Android (via Google Play Store) and Microsoft (via Windows Store) formats

- The Passport Service has the capacity to process 3,000 Passport Card applications per week. Depending on demand, it is estimated that applications will be processed within 20-25 working days. This will be kept under review.

- The passport card is valid for entry into the following thirty countries:

EU Countries (27 excluding Ireland): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Full details about the passport card application process are available at

Read more: Why the Irish passport is among most powerful in the world

Here's an RTE report from earlier this year on the Passport Card: