Update: March 2021 All children travelling abroad need their own passport.

Who is required to sign Passport Application Forms for children whose parents are not married to each other?

Only the mother is required to sign the Passport Application Form if she is the sole guardian.  This applies even if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate.  The mother will have to sign the Sole Guardian Affidavit Form.  See more information here Sole Guardian Affidavit Form. Download (AFF1) here. Alternatively, instead of the mother having to swear the above affidavit, if the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, both parents can sign the passport application even though the father is not a joint guardian of the child. Where a child has 2 guardians the signature of each guardian is required on the Passport Application Form (APS 1E) before a passport will be issued. Where a child has more than 2 guardians, the signatures of no more than two guardians are required on the Passport Application Form (APS 1E) before a passport will be issued. Where a guardian refuses to sign the Passport Application Form then the parent/guardian seeking the passport may apply to the local District Court to have that other guardian’s consent dispensed with. If living in Dublin: contact the Family Law Division of the District Court. If living outside Dublin: contact your local District Court. Passport forms are available from the passport office, Garda stations, most post offices and many Citizen Information Centres and libraries.

Who is a guardian?

If the parents are not married to each other:
  • the mother is automatically a guardian of her child
  • a father who is living with the mother continuously for 12 months, and at least 3 of these months are after the birth of the child, will automatically be the guardian of his child.  This cohabitation period can only be calculated going forward from the commencement date of the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015.  This means that guardianship will only be acquired automatically where the parents live together for at least 12 months after the 18th of January 2016
  • an unmarried father who has signed the Statutory Declaration for joint guardianship (S.I. No. 5 of 1998) with the mother in the presence of a Peace Commissioner, Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public
  • an unmarried father who has got guardianship rights through the courts
  • any other person who has obtained guardianship rights by way of a court order, e.g. a step-parent, grandparent (they may/may not have a right to sign for a passport).
See Guardianship section on this website.

Travelling abroad with a child

It can be useful for a parent to carry a letter from the child’s other parent/guardian giving his/her consent to the child travelling abroad so that there is no misunderstanding.  This letter could be signed and witnessed by a commissioner for oaths.  This may be particularly relevant when you and your child have different surnames.  You could also check with the embassy of the country to which you intend travelling to find out if that country has any special requirements when travelling with a child.

Issuing a passport to a child living outside the Republic of Ireland

A guardian of a child may make an application for a passport to be issued for a child living outside of the Republic of Ireland (where that child is entitled to an Irish passport). If a child has 2 guardians the consent of each guardian is required before a passport will be issued.  If a child has more than 2 guardians, the signatures of no more than two guardians are required before a passport will be issued. A passport may be issued without the consent of any other existing guardian/s if:
  • directed by the court of the State* where the child lives, or
  • the matter of consent has been dealt with in accordance with the laws of the State where the child lives
*State refers to any State that has signed up to the Protection of Children (Hague Convention) 2000.

Who holds the passport?

A court may put in place conditions in relation to where the child’s passport is held.  The passport may be held by the court or by a named person and released under certain conditions if the court considers it to be in the best interests of the child.

How long does a passport last and what are the fees?

  • Children under 18 years of age are issued with a 5 – year passport
  • The fees when applying for an Irish passport using An Post Passport Express service or through an Embassy or consulate are:
    • €30 for a 5 year passport (aged under 18 years)
  • These fees do not include the charge payable to An Post for using the Passport Express Service
  • When applying in person at a Passport Office the fees are: €45 for a 5 year passport (aged under 18 years)
  • It is now possible to renew a child’s passport online: costing €20
These are the fees if you apply through Passport Express, which is available at Post Offices.  Higher fees apply when you apply through the Passport Office or by ordinary registered post.

What documents are needed to get a passport?

  • The Application Form (APS1E), correctly witnessed by a Garda
  • Four passport photos (two signed by a Garda)
  • The child’s long form birth certificate and previous passport if s/he has one
  • Sole Guardian Affidavit Form if appropriate
  • Application Fee.
Proof of citizenship may be required, and
  • where either parent is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen the long form birth certificate or passport of that parent will be required.
  • where neither parent is an Irish citizen there are differing requirements depending on the nationality and/or residence of the parent(s).  For information on citizenship see here.
Application forms (APS1E) can be obtained at any Garda Station, Post Office, library and from the Passport Office in Dublin or Cork.

When applying online additional documents are required as proof of joint guardianship

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS: If guardianship has been acquired through a statutory declaration, the following supporting documents must be submitted to the Passport Service along with the passport application. This applies to both first time applications and renewals: 1) The original statutory declaration 2) The child’s original birth certificate   Contact the Passport Office for further details or visit their website   Download our Information Leaflet on Passports HERE   Download our Information Pack for Unmarried Parents here


Treoir 2019 While every effort has been made to ensure the information provided in this webpage is accurate, no responsibility can be accepted by Treoir for any error or omission.