A new online application service has been launched for passport renewals.

The service is available to those renewing their passport, aged 18 and over.

First-time applicants and children will not be able to apply online and will continue to use the current system.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said it is hoped that phase two of this online passport service will allow children and first time applicants to avail of it by 2019.

Mr Flanagan, speaking at today's launch, also announced that he is abolishing the three-year infant's passport and replacing it with the €30 standard five-year children's passport that is already in place.

A standard ten-year adult passport book costs €80. A large passport book online costs €110. 

Mr Flanagan said "applicants will have the choice of renewing their passports via their personal computers, tablets or mobile phones;  having their photos taken in one of the digital 'Photo-Me' booths located around the country; or going to a photo provider such as a photographer or pharmacy who can provide them with a digital photo on a CD, USB or by email.

"This streamlined service will allow applicants the convenience of submitting information, including photographs, digitally and will avoid the need for witnessing of forms and the printing of photographs."

He continued: "In the past 18 months we have introduced the Passport Card, the Travelwise App and today the Online Passport Application Service."