Complete Guide for the Renewal of your UK Passport

All UK passports carry a limited period validity. For example, passport issued to people who are 15 years old or less, is valid for 5 years whereas passport issued to people who are 16 years and above carry a validity of 10 years. Unless you have a second UK passport, you have to apply for UK passport renewal before the expiry of its validity period otherwise you will not be allowed to travel abroad. 

It should be noted here that there is no particular time at which your passport needs to be renewed, you can renew your UK passport anytime. At the time of renewing your UK passport, the outstanding period on your current passport is transferred to your renewed passport, with a maximum time limit of 9 months.

In the UK, adults (16 years and above) are entitled to:

· Renew their passport- If the passport has expired or is about to expire soon

· Replace their passport- If the passport has been lost, stolen, or damaged

How to renew your passport?

You have the choice of renewing your passport either online or by post. We have explained both the methods below for your convenience.

Adult Passport renewal by paper application form:

· You can get a passport application form at any major UK post office free of charge.

· You are required to fill out the form correctly, attach the required documents, and attach 2 identical printed photographs which must measure 45mm high and 35mm wide.

· The passport application form should be filled in black ballpoint pen in capital letters and use of white fluid in case of any mistake is not recommended

· Provide the details if you want to apply for a regular 34-page passport of a jumbo 50-page passport and also tick the box if you want Braille sticker

· Provide your contact details, address, email address etc

· Provide the details about all our old passports including those which have been damaged, lost or stolen

· Do not stick a cut down version of a larger photograph as it might lead to the rejection of your application form

· The photograph attached on the paper application form should be printed in the size mentioned above; the photograph should be clear and printed in coloured or white background without any borders; do not mark anything on your photograph unless you are asked to countersign it.

· If your facial features have changed significantly, you need your application form and one of your photos to be signed by a counter signatory to prove your identity

· You are required to pay the passport fee which can be given either with cheque payable to ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’ or by debit or credit card, the details of which you are required to give in the application form.

It should be noted here that your application process will take longer if you do not follow the photo rules strictly.

Adult Online Passport renewal:

· You need to provide your current passport details and expiry dates. In case of lost or stolen passport, you need to provide the details of the same

· Fill in your name in application form which should match with your old passport. In case you have changed your name, you need to provide the documents in support of the same

· Next you need to fill in your address and postcode along with your contact details

· In the next step, you can decide whether you want a standard 34-page passport or a jumbo 50-page passport. You can also opt for a Braille sticker

· Upload your photograph which should be taken within the last month and should be 45mm high x 35mm wide. The photograph should be in compliance with the IPS standards. It should be noted that incorrect/ poor photographs might lead to the rejection of the application form

· A counter signatory will be needed to sign your application form and one of your photos to prove your identity in case your facial features have changed significantly

· Review your application form and provide the documents as applicable

· You can now download the form and send it to ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’ along with your old passport and supporting documents, if needed. You will be required to send the required fee for sending your old and new passport in the form of cheque drawn in favour of ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’

How to renew your child’s UK passport?

Following things should be noted before applying for the renewal of your child’s passport:

· Your child should be a British citizen; your child should be below 16 years; and you need to have full parental responsibility of the child in order to apply for renewal on the child’s behalf

· The renewal of a child’s passport can be done at any time online or by post

· Unlike the adults, the time left on the child’s old passport will not be added to the new one

· If you have changed the child’s name other personal details then you cannot renew the passport, you need to order a new one instead

· Generally, renewal of such passports takes around 3 weeks’ time but in case some modifications are needed on the same then it may take longer

To renew a child’s passport, you need to have

· The child’s old passport

· If your child bears passports of other countries, you need to submit those also

· In case you are a single parent or a divorcee, court orders from the same is needed to establish the parental custody

· If the child is below 12, someone will need to confirm the child’s identity once the application is made. The person confirming child’s identity will be contacted visa email by HM Passport Office. The email will contain the steps to confirm the identity online.

· Children under 11 years or under or those hard to be recognised from their old passport photo, will have to get someone else, known as a ‘counter signatory,’ to certify the child’s photo

· After completing the application the person who is paternally responsible should sign the application. In case the child is between the age 12 to 15, then even the child is required to sign the form

Who can confirm your child’s identity if they are below 12 years?

As already stated, you need someone to confirm your child’s identity if they are below 12 years at the time of their passport renewal. Such person will get an email from ‘Her Majesty’s Passport Office’ to confirm the identity.

The person who is to confirm the identity should be

· 18 years or above

· A resident of UK

· Has known you for at least 2 years

· Such person needs to work or retired from a ‘recognized’ profession

· Such person should not be related to the child either by birth or by marriage. They should not share the same address as the child

· Such person should not work in Her Majesty’s Passport Office

Who can countersign your child’s photo or your application and photo in case your appearance has changed?

For children under 11 years or if their photo is beyond recognition, you need someone to sign the applications and photos to establish the identity of the child. Also, you will need someone to sign your own applications and photos if your appearance has changed to the extent that it is unrecognizable from your current passport.

Such person must

· Have known you for at least 2 years

· Must not be related to you either by birth or marriage nor should they share the same address as yours

· Such person should not work in Her Majesty’s Passport Office

· 18 years or above

· A resident of UK

All the renewal applications whether adult or child should be posted to the address provided on the forms along with the postal charges.

Frequently Asked Questions about Passport Renewal

How much time does it take to get passport renewed?

The passport renewal takes approximately 3 weeks or more depending on the authenticity of the information provided. In case you have filled the application with incomplete information, your passport will take more time to get renewed. Also, special emphasis should be given on the photograph you are uploading as unclear / hazy photographs can lead to the rejection of your application.

What to do with your old passport?

It is highly recommended to keep your old passport with you as it acts as your identity proof in such cases as- change of gender, change of name, change of appearance beyond recognition, or if your passport has been damaged.

How to get your passport renewed urgently?

If under some circumstances you need your passport to be renewed urgently rather than waiting for a long 3 weeks, below is the walk through to speed up your process.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office provides you ‘Fast Track’ and ‘Premium Track’ services if you're in the UK. All you need to do is book an appointment at a Passport Customer Service Centre:

Fast Track Service:

Fast Track Service will give your passport within one working week of your appointment (this is exclusive of bank holidays). For this process, you need to book an appointment with your nearest Passport Customer Service Centre, get a paper application form from the Post Office (this service is not available online), provide two photos and supporting documents.

Premium Track Service:

Premium Track Service will give your passport the same day if you provide a completed application form, two photos and supporting documents. Ideally speaking, through this service you can collect your passport 4 hours after your appointment.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged UK Passport Renewal

Lost passport:

If you are in the UK and somehow you lose your passport, you need to report it to the Passport Office or do it online by filling out a form

Replace a lost passport:

After you have reported your lost passport, you can apply for a replacement. If you don’t have any trips planned for at least 3-4 weeks, you can go for a regular service where you need to pick up the application form, fill in the details, and send it to the passport office. This method will take approximately 3 -4 weeks or longer during peak months.

If you want your passport sooner, you can opt for Fast Track Service. You need to make an appointment at a Passport Office and submit a completed application form, two valid passport photos, and any documents if needed. This method will ensure you get your passport in 7 working days.

It should be noted here that you cannot avail Premium Track Service in case of lost passport with the exception of certain cases such as medical emergency.

If you have lost your passport on a holiday outside UK, you need to fill out the online form LS01 providing with all the details. You should then take or send the completed form to the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

If you have planned for 6-8 weeks long holiday, you can apply and receive a new passport from abroad but if you need to return to UK urgently, you can apply for an emergency passport. Generally, you get your emergency passport same day which will get you back to UK where you can apply for a new passport.

Stolen passport:

Either your passport is stolen in the UK or abroad, you need to report it to the local police and ask for a written police report. It is better if you report the stolen passport to the Passport Office as soon as possible. After reporting for your stolen passport, you need to cancel your passport online if you are in UK but if you are abroad, you need to fill LS01 form and send it the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate.

Replace a stolen passport:

If you are in UK and need your passport urgently, you can opt for Fast Track or Premium Track service. If you are not in urgent need of your passport, you can apply for standard service which takes nearly 3-4 weeks.

If your passport has been stolen outside UK and you need to travel urgently, you can ask for travel document by providing a proof of your travel details.

Damaged Passport:

Your passport is considered damaged if:

· Your personal details are non-readable

· 1 or more pages of your passport has been ripped

· Discoloration or stain on the bio-data page

· Any type of spillage on any page

· Your photograph has been damaged

· The lamination on your passport has come off

In such case, you need to fill out the LS01 form either at the Passport Office or online providing in as much details as possible.

Replace a damaged passport:

You need to fill an application form either online or paper one requesting for a new passport. This can be done using a Fast Track Service if you are staying in UK to get your passport in a week’s time or you can also go for standard service, the time taken in which is 3-4 weeks if you do not have any travel plans in near future. Premium Track Service is not applicable in case of damaged passports.

UK Passport Post Departure from EU

UK’s Home Office has already selected Gemalto to design and produce new passports to be used after the country’s departure from the EU. The current burgundy passport will be replaced by dark blue passports. The country has decided to roll out the new passport over a period of time to avoid unnecessary burden to the passport office. In that case, you will be given the new passport only at the time of your passport renewal.

After the ‘Brexit,’ the citizens of UK are required to have a minimum validity of 6 months on the adult and the child passport to be used for any travel purpose. The passport in that case will have an expiry date of 10 years.

Post ‘Brexit,’ the entry requirements for British passport holders will be affected that are a part of Schengen area or the European union at large. Your passport needs to fulfil the travel policy before travelling to such countries. Travel policy to Ireland will not change post ‘Brexit.’

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