If you’re craving some sun then the prospect of a summer vacation will certainly lift your spirits. However, before you pack up your swimming trunks and the all-important sun-screen, there’s one more essential – checking whether you need to renew your passport!
After saving up for a sunny holiday, the last thing you want is to have all your plans ruined by an out-of-date passport. So, you must remember to complete your British passport renewal if either:
In an average year, around seven million passport applications would typically be processed, according to the UK Passport Office. So, it’s important that you know how to renew your passport and that you do so in plenty of time before you plan to travel abroad.
Don’t let your holiday plans be ruined – read on to find out how to renew your passport…
Before we delve into how to renew your passport, let’s determine when you should start the passport renewal process.
You should check whether your passport needs renewing before you book any overseas travel. If your passport is due to expire within less than six months from the date of your return to the UK, then you should start the process of passport renewal straight away.
This is because, in order to travel abroad, you will likely be required to have three to six months left on your British passport beyond your return date.
This can vary depending on the country you’re visiting, though, so it’s a good idea to double check the requirements with the UK consulate of that country.
Otherwise, if your passport doesn’t expire until at least six months after your date of return, you can continue to book your trip.
So, when it comes to how to renew your passport, you have three choices:
Now, for the all important question – how do I renew my passport?
British passports require renewal every ten years, and the UK government advises to expect the passport renewal process to take up to ten weeks. Therefore, you should start renewing your passport as soon as possible before travelling abroad.
To renew your passport by post, you will need to collect the passport renewal application form from a post office that offers the Check and Send service, or by calling the Passport Advice line. To apply for a new passport, you will need to provide two identical printed photos.
The Post Office’s Check and Send service helps to ensure your passport renewal application fulfils all the necessary requirements before being submitted.
Completing the passport renewal process by post £85, which is payable by cheque to “Her Majesty’s Passport Office” or by credit or debit card. If you want to use the Post Office’s Check and Send service, this will cost an additional £16.
It’s the 21st century, so you’re likely wondering how to renew your passport online, right?
Well, good news – you can renew your passport online, and it’s super easy to do so.
The passport renewal process is actually much quicker and cheaper than doing so by post. Submitting a passport renewal application online costs £75.50 for an adult passport and £49 for a child’s passport.
To complete passport renewal online, you’ll need:
You can apply for a child passport if your child is under 16 years of age. Once applying for a child’s passport, it will be valid for 5 years.
When renewing a child passport, it must be done by someone with parental responsibility. You will need to provide both parents’ details when you apply.
If, for some reason, you are unable to provide the other parents’ details, you will need to state why (e.g. you adopted the child on your own).
Renewing a child passport costs £49 online and £58.50 by post.
Yes, you can complete an urgent passport renewal process in the UK.
If you need to renew your passport within the next three weeks rather than the standard waiting period, you can apply for an urgent passport renewal application.
You will need to book an appointment at a passport office and can expect the appointment to last up to 30 minutes.
You can either apply for urgent passport renewal using the online premium service or the one week fast track service.
If you choose the online passport renewal option, it will cost you £177. You must book an appointment, take a digital photo, fill out the forms online and pay ahead of collecting the renewed passport.
Alternatively, renewal of a standard adult passport using the one week service will cost £142 or £122 for a child passport.
Application forms must be collected from a post office, and an appointment booked and paid for online. You will need to take two printed passport photos, your completed application forms, and any relevant supporting documents.
You can apply to renew your passport at any time, regardless of its expiry date.
However, as of September 2018, any unexpired time on your previous passport will be lost due to a policy change from the Passport Office. Previously, you were able to carry up to nine months over.
With the UK leaving the EU in January 2020, how will this affect the process of renewing a British passport?
For non-EU travel, Brexit will have very little effect on how you renew your passport. For travel to EU and EEA countries after Brexit, however, there will be a number of changes to the British passport renewal process.
Now, when travelling to EU and EEA countries, you will need a minimum of three months left on your passport from the day after you plan to leave the EU/EAA. Previously, your passport only needed to be valid from the duration of your stay.
The FCDO also advises that your passport must be less than ten years old on the day you enter the EU. That means that any passports with carried-over months will no longer be valid after the ten year mark, and you should not travel on the extra ten months.
The price of renewing your passport varies depending on a number of factors, including:
Adult passport renewal fees:
Apply online: £75.50
By post: £85
Child passport renewal fees:
Apply online: £49
By post: £58.50
Every time you complete your passport renewal, you will need to provide either a digital photo or printed photos, depending on how you apply.
When you complete the passport renewal process under the open government license, you will need to offer two identical passport photos.
To apply for a new passport online, you will require a digital passport photo.
In both cases, the photo/s must have been taken within the past month to ensure they are up-to-date.
There are a number of rules and regulations your passport photos must meet when renewing. These include:
In some cases, your passport renewal application form, as well as photos, will require a countersignature.
Countersignature refers to a signature obtained from someone else to prove your identity. As per government rules on how to renew your passport, you will need countersignature on your applications in the following cases:
The person doing the countersignature for you should be:
Or if someone is doing the countersignature for you, they should be related to you by blood. In some instances, the countersignature becomes necessary since it is valid proof that all the details are correct.
Typical passport renewal processing time for standard adult online applications are around four weeks.
However, standard online application processing times tend to change quickly, so you should allow up to ten weeks to receive your replacement passport.
If you get to within one week of your departure date and your passport still hasn’t arrived, you should immediately contact the office to which you submitted your passport renewal application. They should let you know your options.
If, for whatever reason, you still don’t have your new passport by your departure date, unfortunately, you’ll be unable to claim for flight or other holiday costs on your travel insurance. You also won’t be able to claim compensation from the Home Office.
So, in other words, it is of utmost importance that you find out how to renew your passport well in advance of travelling abroad. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is up to date, whether that’s updating your passport address when you move house or completing your passport renewal after expiry.
What actually happens when you renew your passport? Yes, your passport number will change. This is because the number is allocated to the passport, not the person.
Each passport number reveals exclusive information, such as where the passport was made, and is valid for identification purposes throughout the life of the passport.
It is important that your passport number changes each time you renew it to prevent identity fraud. If your passport has been lost or stolen, criminals could easily use this information to steal your identity.
Once you’ve completed the passport renewal process, what do you do with your old passport?
The answer – if you still have it, you must bring your old passport to the Post Office.
So, now you know how to renew your passport, you shouldn’t have any trouble next time you want to travel overseas.
Hopefully, our passport renewal guide has highlighted the importance of remembering to check whether your passport needs renewing before you go ahead and book any holidays.
You can either renew your British passport by post or online. Which method of passport renewal you opt for will determine the processing time and cost.