Australian Government moves to online passport applications

By David Flynn, April 26 2016
Australian Government moves to online passport applications

A new online passport applications system could swap queues for clicks when it launches in the middle of 2017.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will update the current in-person process, with one or more organisations authorised to provide online applications for passport applications and renewals.

Passport applicants will still be required to make a person appearance to have their identity verified, with a network of authorised travel agents mooted as one possible option for photographs and ID checks.

Australia Post will lose its exclusive agency right to provide face-to-face 'application lodgement services' on behalf of the Australian Passport Office at the end of June 2017.

DFAT expects to be handling an estimated three million passport applications per year by 2019, compared to 1.8 million in 2014-15.

The government also continues to weigh up the introduction of passport-free travel between Australia and New Zealand through the adoption of a digital 'cloud passport'.

Also read: Tired of waiting for visa approvals? Here's how to get a second passport!

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 452

So we're finally being dragged into the 21st century

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 691

One only hopes tht the Government will drag appropriate security practices along with it?

As someone who has significant IT experience, I don't know that I feel particularly comfortable or 'secure' by having unspecified agency partners having access to my personal (and private) data.

Looks like DFAT offices can look forward to personal lodgement visits by me in the future, just as they do now. Trussed me ...

Shouldn't kids at school be biometrically identified and fast tracked through to obtain state and federal IDs?

There is absolutely no need to spend admin time sorting out standard ID for the majority of cases.

The resources of the department should be spent to review exceptions, cases where applicants enter enter mid-stream (migrants/refugees) and validation of deaths/revocations.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 512

Let their parents take responsibility instead of the govenment shoving IDs down their throat.


16 Nov 2014

Total posts 15

Catching up with the future? NZ is ahead on something. I also have a NZ passport and when going to renew it realised that I could do it completely on line, no need to go anywhere etc. The requirements were basically fill in the online form, quote current passport number, name another current NZ passport holder, with their passport no., as your "referee" (I went with a barrister friend, as being relatively unimpeachable, but do not think anyone contacted him), include digital passport snap photo + credit card details to charge for the 5 year passport. Easy! The passport arrived at my Mum's address in Auckland (I live in Oz unless visiting NZ) in 2-3 weeks.

I did my own digital selfie, which for some reason was not the right dimensions, so I actually digitally resized it with software, the resizing not being visible to me, and submitted (and crossed fingers). In the ultimate passport it goes somewhat back to the past and the photo is in B&W! (hopefully colour in the chip version). It can't be worse than my Oz e-passport (conventional photo at Officeworks) which has 3 out of 3 failed to recognise me at the self check Out gates at SYD - yet recognises me OK coming back Into the country WTF??

You may note the 5 year term which NZ introduced to more "rapidly keep up to date with new security". To me this was cr*p, I think it was so that cost was lower than 10 year one. They have now gone back to 10 years term.


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 606

Renewals are much the same here. You go online, select renew, form gets generated (no need for referee), you print, add photo and lodge. Difference in future will be digital photo and no need to print. Minor but welcome change.


16 Nov 2014

Total posts 15

That is interesting AJW. I renewed mine in Feb.2015, but still had to add a physical photo, and make an apptmt at local PO etc for interview - your "lodge" covers a mutliple of such things, so are you going on the passports site info or what YOU actually did? (excuse what might seem scepticism in view of my own actual renewal process 15 months ago - it did give me a filled out outline form I still had to physically lodge it with photo and at PO). I already said that the NZ renewal is TOTALLY digital and online - if things have changed to the extent you say here in Oz that's great.

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