Record Breaking Year for Passports
• The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Brian Cowen, T.D., has congratulated the staff of the Passport Offices on meeting targets in what has been another record year for the number of passports issued.
• By the end of 2000 the Passport offices in Dublin and Cork will have issued approximately 400,000 passports. This represents an increase of 9% on 1999 levels, and an overall increase of 62% in annual demand for passports, since 1995.
• Minister Cowen said: " For the first time ever the number of passports issued in a single month has exceeded 50,000, this happened in May 2000 when 50,251 passports issued and was repeated in June when 50,744 issued".
• The Minister welcomed the fact that up to 70% of all passport applicants in the State now use the " Passport Express" system. Under the system passport applicants can apply for a passport at over 1,000 Post Offices throughout the country and can be assured of receiving their passport within 10 working days. Since Passport Express was introduced in 1995 the number of applications submitted through that system has almost doubled from 37%.
• The Minister said the partnership between the Passport Office and An Post has worked very well and he encouraged more passport applicants to use Passport Express, as it is the most efficient and convenient method of applying for a passport.