How to apply for an age card

The National Age Card is issued by the Gardai and provides proof that the holder is aged over 18 years old and legally allowed to purchase alcohol. Please note that the age card is not an identity card and it should not be used for any other reason. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining your age card.

sample garda age card from drinkaware

How to get an age card

The steps involved in getting your card include the following:
1. Fill out the application form on the age card website
2. Submit payment for the application fee (this can be done in two ways)
3. Within 3 working days, you should receive a printed application form
4. Take this application form, along with your primary ID document (see below) and a colour passport photograph to your local Garda station for verification
5. Sign the application form in the presence of the Garda
6. Attach your photo to the form
7. The Garda will countersign your application form and affix the official Garda station stamp
8. The Garda will submit the form on your behalf and return your ID documents
9. You should receive your age card within 10 working days of authentication

Garda age card application checklist

Before starting your application, check that you meet the criteria on the following list:

  • You must be aged 18 years old or over
  • You must have access to your birth certificate, passport or Irish residence permit card (primary ID document) and one other form of ID
  • You must have one recent passport sized photograph that meets specifications (see below)
  • The name on your application form must match the name on your primary ID document
  • Your address must be within Ireland
  • You must choose and attend your local Garda station to submit your application
    in person

How much does an age card cost in Ireland?

To apply for an age card, there is a one-time fee of €10. This is payable online on the age card website. You can pay for your age card online with a debit card or credit card. Your payment will be processed via a fully secure An Post payments processing page. You will be given a unique reference number for your payment.

Alternatively, if you do not have a card, you can pay the €10 fee at a Post Office branch in return for an age card voucher. This voucher contains a 16-digit code. You can then use this code as payment on the age card website.

cartoon showing a person holding their garda age card

How to complete the online application form

The application process is very simple. You will need to provide the following details:

  • Applicant’s first name and surname
  • Date of birth
  • Eircode
  • Full address
  • County
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Your local Garda station
  • Payment method

Before submitting this information, you must ensure that your details are correct as they cannot be changed once submitted. The next step is to complete payment online. Once this is submitted, you should wait to receive the printed application details to your home address. Bring this form and your official identification document to your Garda station to complete the process.

What documents do you need for the age card application?

To complete your age card application, make sure you bring the following essential documents to your Garda station:
1. Birth certificate or valid passport or Irish residence permit card (formerly known as the GNIB card)
2. One other form of identification (e.g., driving licence (full or provisional), PPS card, student card, etc.)
3. A colour passport photo showing your head and shoulders
4. Printed application form (which you will receive via post to your home address)

Find your nearest Garda station

Locate your local station by using the Garda website. You will need to choose your local station on the online application form. When you have received your printed application form through the post, you should attend the station along with the essential documents listed above.

The Garda will check your ID, countersign your form, stamp your application, and submit the paperwork for you.

Age card photograph

You should bring one printed colour photograph with you to the Garda station to complete your application. The maximum photo size is 35 x 45 mm.

The photo should meet the below criteria:

  • Maximum size 35 x 45 mm
  • Contain your head and shoulders
  • Be printed on high resolution photo-quality paper
  • You should maintain a neutral expression in the photo with all facial features visible
  • The photo should have no digital enhancements
  • The photo should be a recent photo of you

Read more about the Irish passport photo regulations to ensure your photo meets the requirements or watch this video:

When you receive your printed age card, the photo you have submitted will contain relevant security features, such as an embossed symbol, for added authenticity.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Age Card voucher?

  • Age card voucher is available for purchase at the post office
  • Similar to a mobile phone credit docket, it has a sixteen-digit number
  • Use the voucher payment option and enter the number and pin on the payment screen
  • After confirmation, the voucher becomes validated and cannot be reused
  • The voucher remains valid for three months from the purchase date
  • If not used within the validity period, the voucher expires and cannot be used for an age card purchase
  • No refunds are available for expired vouchers

How long do age cards take to arrive?

Once you complete your online form, you can expect to receive your printed form in the post within 3 working days. When you attend your local station to submit your application form, you can expect to receive your age card within 10 working days from the date of submission. You can track your application in the meantime.

Does a garda age card have an address on it?

No, your age card will not include your address details on it.

How to track the Garda age card?

You can track the progress of your application using the age card website:

  • Navigate to the ‘Track My Application’ tab
  • Enter your 7-digit form reference number
  • Click search

The stages of the process include:

  • Payment received
  • Application form posted to you
  • Application form received back from Garda station
  • Age card dispatched

What does an Irish age card look like?

The age card contains the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • A passport-style photograph of you
  • Unique serial number
  • Relevant security features (including a hologram) to demonstrate the card is genuine

The card is blue and grey and has the official logo of An Garda Siochana. Your photo will contain relevant security features (such as an embossed symbol) for added authenticity.

On the reverse of the card, the text reads:

This card has been issued with the agreement of An Garda Síochána in accordance with Regulations made by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform under section 40 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988, in order to confirm that the person to whom it has been issued has attained the legal age for the purchase of intoxicating liquor. It does not confer on the holder the right of entry to any licensed premises.

The same text will be written in Irish below this.

Can I apply for my age card before my 18th birthday?

No, you cannot apply before you are 18. You must have reached your 18th birthday before submitting your application.

How to replace a Garda age card

If your age card is lost, destroyed or stolen, you will need to follow the same process to replace your card. Your replacement card will be issued within the same time period it takes to complete the initial application.

When you attend the Garda station to get their authentication stamp, you must report the loss or theft of your original card, if not before.

The cost of replacing a card is €10.

What act is the basis of the national age card?

The Intoxicating Liquor Act 1988 (Age Card) Regulations 2010 sets out the terms of the voluntary age card scheme in Ireland.

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