Irish citizens can apply for a new credit card size passport card from today.

It costs €35 and is valid for five years.

Applications can be made online or using an app, that allows the applicant to take a selfie as a passport picture.

The card can be used to travel to 30 countries; EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has described the new passport card as user friendly, flexible and secure.

Charlie Flanagan told RTÉ’s News At One that in some future date, the passport book may become obsolete, as the passport card is part of future technological advances.

Contingency plans in place for postal dispute

Separately, the passport office has said it has contingencies in place to avoid disruption as a result of the postal dispute.

It is urging anyone travelling within ten days to make an emergency appointment with a passport office to secure their documents in time.

Anyone with travel plans more than ten days away can leave passport applications in designated drop boxes and then collect their new passport in person.

Around 8,000 passport applications are in the system at present.