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New online passport services.



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MEDIA RELEASE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALEXANDER DOWNER FA146 27 November 2003

NEW ONLINE PASSPORT SERVICES

I am pleased to announce that passport application forms will be available online from next week.

Under changes designed to streamline and improve the passport issuing process, applicants will also receive e-mail advice when their document is ready.

But for security reasons, completed passport applications must still be lodged in person at an Australia Post outlet, passport office or overseas post.

Applicants using the Australian Government’s new online services will be able change information previously provided, such as an applicant’s delivery address and preferred method of despatch.

An applicant who needs a passport in a hurry will also be able to pay the priority processing fee online to speed up the process.

The enhanced online service will also allow passport holders to view their own details, report their documents lost, stolen or missing in the mail and exchange information with the Australian Passport Information Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To maintain the integrity of the passport issuing system and to protect the identity of the applicant, passport information will only be available online to authorised users. Internet users must identify themselves before they can gain access to certain functions and information. Unauthorised users will not be able to access passport information.

I am pleased to offer these additional services at a time when we are asking Australians to provide more information on their applications to help us fight identity fraud.

The new services will be available at www.passports.gov.au.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 0419 206 890 Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

Media releases and speeches are available from DFAT via the internet. http://www.dfat.gov.au/