UK Passport Service Guide

UK Passport Service Guide - Everything you need to know about applying for a UK passport.

Passport FAQ

Our passport FAQ page has got the answers to all your UK Passport questions.


Just below you will find a list of sub-headings we have created for you to easily search our FAQ Page:

FAQ Sub Headings

General Passport FAQ’s
UK Passport Renewal FAQ’s
UK Child Passport FAQ’s
UK Passport Entry Requirements FAQ’s

General Passport FAQ’s

Click the question to reavel the answer

Is just a signature on the back of a passport photo ok?

QUESTION: My photo has been counter signed with just a signature on the back is that ok?

ANSWER: The short answer is no!
You must get someone from a recognised profession to counter sign your passport application form. They will also need to certify one of your UK passport photos by writing on the back, the following statement:

“I certify that this is a true likeness of…(your name)”

They must then sign and date this statement on the back of the same photo.

For a long list of the type of person who can countersign your application form and your passport photo, please visit our Suitable Professions page.

My parents have lost their birth certificate how do I apply for a first UK passport?

QUESTION: My parents lost their birth certificates in a recent house move and do not have passports and where born in the uk. How do I apply for my first adult UK passport?

ANSWER: As you may have read on the website, you will need to provide either one of your parent’s birth certificate when applying for your first adult UK passport.

Ordering replacement certificates is a straight forward process and these days you can do this online.
Please cclck on the link to visit the General Register Office.

My passport has been stolen and I don't have the passport details!

QUESTION: I have had my passport stolen and I need to fill in the LSO1 form but I do not have my passport number or issue details. What should I do?

ANSWER: It’s not a problem. When filling out the LS01 form and your passport application form just leave those areas blank and include a covering letter stating the fact that your passport has been stolen and you do not have a record of the passport number, issue date etc.

Sign and date the letter and post it off with the other two forms or if you are using the One Week Fast Track service then take it with you on the appointment.

First time UK passport application but no details on my mother's birth date

QUESTION: I have received a British naturalisation (citizenship) status and am intending to apply for a British passport for the first time. My problem is that, in the IPS online application form, I am required to fill in my parents’ date of birth and I no longer have that information. Both my parents are non UK citizens.

Although I have filled in their details in my application for the citizenship before, now the information (birth cert etc) is no longer available as it went missing and both my parents died a long time ago.

I won’t be able to obtain their documents as they were both born before 1940, therefore it is highly possible their details have been erased or no longer available.

ANSWER: Do not make your application for a UK passport online. Go to the post office and get an application form and fill it out by hand.

This way you can include a covering letter stating the fact that you no longer have the information regarding your parent’s date of birth and give your reasons why.

Also tell them that you have given this information before on your application for citizenship and they may well be able to cross reference and confirm this.

Use the Post Office check and send service as an extra safe guard to insure you have filled out the form correctly and have included all necessary supporting documents. This will cost you an extra £8.17, well worth the money.

Can someone else take documents to the passport office for me?

QUESTION: I applied for a first child passport but I have to send my mothers birth certificate up and I need it done asap. Can I get someone else to take them up for me or do I need to take them myself?

ANSWER: You can get someone to take documents to the passport office on your behalf.
Write out a short letter giving permission to the person who will be visiting the passport office for you, stating their name & address and their relationship to you.

Print your name, sign and date it and get your mother to print her name (and if possible her passport number) and sign to it also. Make sure that person takes along their own ID.

First time UK passport

QUESTION: Can I get my first UK passport within one week?

ANSWER: The short answer is NO!

You cannot use the IPS Fast Track one week or Premium one day services when applying for your first adult U.K. passport. The reason for this is because you will need to attend a UK passport interview before your passport is issued.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will get in touch with you to arrange an interview once they have received and checked your application.

No Birth certificate - First time application

QUESTION: I will be applying for my British Passport for the first time, I have got the C1 form from the internet, however I do not have my birth certificate. I was on my mother’s passport as an infant.

Is there any way I can submit that instead of a birth certificate?

I applied for my Visa because of this but it was declined. Now money and time wasted I need to travel within 14 days and don’t know if I will be able to.

I have been to the British Embassy here in Cape Town, but they refuse to open there doors to help or answer questions.

ANSWER: Without your birth certificate you’re going to run into all sorts of problems as you have already experienced with your visa application.

If you were in the UK when applying for your first UK passport it might have been possible to get round it but because you are in the South Africa and you need to make your application via the British High Commission they will need to see your birth certificate.

So this is what you need to do.
Click on the link and it will take you to the Directgov website where you can order a replacement birth certificate for a fee of £9.25. Birth marriage and death certificates.

You can either do it online or you can call them and do it. They accept all major credit cards.
The good news is that they will send your certificate to you in South Africa and there are options where you can choose express delivery which is by Royal Mail and it will be sent out to you on the next available flight.
Obviously there are extra charges for this service but if you need your UK passport quickly then this would be a good option.

Can I obtain a UK passport while living in Jamaica?

QUESTION: I lived and worked in the UK as a trainee nurse and then a nurse from January 1952 to July 1967 when I returned with my husband who served as a High Court Judge.

We travelled to the UK and Europe almost every year until he died nearly two years ago. Since I was then a British overseas citizen at my time in England, I wonder whether it is possible to apply for a British Passport as I continue to visit England and Europe annually for two to three weeks duration.

I did not have the option of becoming naturalised since Jamaica became independent only after my return. I receive my UK pension in Jamaica, as did my mother before she died six years ago. She was able to renew her UK passport at the age of 90 years!

It would make it so much easier to travel in the UK and Europe if I could obtain a British passport, although I have no intention of residing permanently in England.

ANSWER: There are many factors that will determine whether you will or will not be able to obtain a British passport including the fact that you were not naturalised and you are not living in the UK right now.

The best thing to do would be to contact the British High Commission in Kingston.
Address:
British High Commission Jamaica
P O Box 575
28 Trafalgar Road
Kingston 10
Jamaica
Telephone:
+ 001 (876) 936 0700
Fax:
+ 001 (876) 510 0737
Opening Times:
Monday to Thursday – 08:00-13:00 & 14:00-16:30
Friday – 08:00-13:00 Local Time

They will best advise you on what your options are.

For my first adult passport do I need the passport details of BOTH my parnets?

QUESTION: My parents are divorced and it will be bit difficult to get my father’s details. Do both of the passport numbers need to be given? Or will just my mother’s be enough?

ANSWER: The details of just your mother’s UK passport will be fine but more importantly the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) will want to see your mother’s birth certificate.

You will also need:
2 passport photos – Certified
Your birth certificate
A completed UK passport application form
The fee – £77.50

My mother had her passport stolen in a burglary, need emergency passport

QUESTION: My mother had her passport stolen in a house burglary, she now has to travel abroad in emergency because her mother is seriously ill. Can she get the premium one day service and have her passport in a day?

If so what documents will she be required to bring with her. What is the procedure?

ANSWER: Unfortunately the Premium one-day service is not available for replacement passports but you can use the Fast Track one-week service.

I assume after your mother was burgled the police were informed and she was issued with a crime reference number.

You will need this number when you fill out the form LS01 which is a lost or stolen notification form.

You can pick an LS01 form from your local police station. Or you can download LS01 Form here and then print it off.

Call the Identity & Passport Service Adviceline on 0300 222 0000 to make an appointment at your nearest Regional Passport Office.

When your mother attends the appointment she will need to bring the following;

A completed LS01 form (with crime ref. no.)

A completed renewal application form (countersigned)

2 passport photos (certified)

The fee (£112.50)

IPS may also ask you to supply further documents such as a birth certificate.

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UK Passport Renewal FAQ’s

Click the question to reavel the answer

When do I need to renew my UK passport?

QUESTION: My UK Passport expires on 28/04/2012, when do I need to renew it?

ANSWER: A UK passport renewal can take up to 3 weeks to process (4 weeks during peak times) so you should allow that time before your passport expires.

However you can renew your UK passport anytime you like and any outstanding validity will be added to your new passport up to a maximum of 9 months.

Can a passport be renewed if it has expired?

QUESTION: Can a UK passport be renewed if it has expired or do I need to apply for a completely new passport with a countersignature?

ANSWER: Even though your UK passport has fully expired you can still just make an application for a passport renewal. Which means the only signature needed on the application form is your own.

Remember:
- You will need to send back your last passport.
- You will also need to send 2 recent identical photos.
- The correct fee
- A correctly filled out passport application form

For full details on renewing your UK passport please go to UK Passport Renewal.

What happens if my passport expires while I am on holiday?

QUESTION: My UK passport expires on 1st August 2011, I am getting the ferry to France on the 22nd July and am not returning for 2 weeks. Will I have to get a new passport or will I be granted re-entry into the country?

ANSWER: You will need to renew your UK passport and it’s not because you won’t be allowed back into the UK but because you won’t be allowed to leave the UK.

France’s passport entry requirements state that firstly you must hold a valid passport to enter France.
And for stays of up to three months your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

Since you plan to travel on 22.07.11 your only option now is to go for the One-day Premium Service which will cost you £129.50.

For this service you will need to make an appointment ASAP and to do that, call the IPS on this number 0300 222 0000. I know this is an expense you probably haven’t budgeted for but you do need to sort it out because the last thing you want to be doing is spending your 2011 holidays at a B&B in Dover.

Do I need a deed poll to renew my passport?

QUESTION: In 2003 I changed my name by deed poll. Then I applied for a passport in my new name, that is my current passport.

I am about to renew my passport for a new 10 year british passport. My current passport is in my new name already therefore I believe I don’t need to supply deed poll documents or birth certificates with this application as its a straight forward renewal.

Could you clarify for me please if this is correct and what I should write on the passport application where it asks have you changed your name by deed poll? yes or no. Does it mean ever or just since the previous passport application?

It would be gratefully appreciated if you can clarify this for me as I’m currently applying from a consulate overseas and don’t have my deed poll with me.

ANSWER: A UK passport renewal can take up to 3 weeks to process (4 weeks during peak times) so you should allow that time before your passport expires.

However you can renew your UK passport anytime you like and any outstanding validity will be added to your new passport up to a maximum of 9 months.

How do I renew child's passport in Australia?

QUESTION: We are in Australia and need to renew our sons UK passport as we are due to fly home for a visit in November.

Can we send it back to the UK and get relatives to process it for us, then send it back as it’s a lot cheaper this way and is not totally urgent!! Or do we have to be actually living in the UK to do this?

ANSWER: To renew your son’s UK passport you don’t actually have to be living in the UK but you do have to be (visiting) in the UK at the time you make the renewal application.
If the Identity & Passport Service gets wind of your money saving exercise they may well ask you and your son to attend an interview, which will obviously cause all sorts of problems.
So make your application through the correct channels.

You will need to lodge your British Passport application through the Australia Post Postshop network.

Certain Australia Post outlets provide a range of services for the British High Commission, including:

Application reviews for new British passports and renewals
Collection of fees
Secure delivery of the passport application and supporting documentation to the Regional Passport Processing Centre in Wellington, New Zealand
Secure return of the documentation once the application has been processed

My passport ran out in 1990. I want to know how to renew it?

QUESTION: I was born in England on 14th june 1946. I have never used my UK passport before. It ran out on 30th April 1990 and I would like to know how I go about renewing it, as I’m thinking of going abroad in near future.

ANSWER: Renewing your UK passport is very straight forward. Visit your local Post Office and ask them for a form to renew your UK passport. The post office provide a check and send service where they will check that your form is filled out correctly and that you have the correct supporting documents.
For this service they will charge you £8.17 (well worth the money)

Along with the application form you will need to send;
Your old passport
2 recent identical photos

The Passport Office tries to process UK passport renewal applications in about three weeks.
When applying to renew your UK passport, normally the only signature needed on the application form is your own.

However, you may look completely different from the photo on your last passport, because your last passport photos were taken over 30 years ago so you will need to get your form countersigned in section 10.

Whoever you get to countersign your form, they should have known you for at least 2 years and they must:

• be over 18 years of age
• hold a current British or Irish passport
• be happy to write their passport number on your application form
• work in a recognised profession
Also they must not
• be related to you
• be involved with you personally
• live at home with you
• or work for the IPS

They will also need to certify one of your passport photos by writing on the back, the following statement:
I certify that this is a true likeness of – Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms or other title followed by your full name. They must then sign and date this statement on the back of one of your photos.

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UK Child Passport FAQ’s

Click the question to reavel the answer

Do I need to take my son along to the interview?

QUESTION: I am renewing my passport and getting my sons first child passport. I have booked an interview for my passport and my sons to get them fast tracked. Do I need to take my son along to the interview or is it just me they need to see?

ANSWER: For the 1 Week Fast Track service only you will need to attend the interview, your child does not have to be there.

Please make sure you have the correct supporting documents with you, including:

  • photos – counter signed
  • correctly filled out application forms
  • your child’s birth certificate
  • your birth certificate
  • your old passport
  • the correct passport fees

How do I apply for renewal of child's passport while living abroad?

QUESTION: My 5 yr old daughter was born in the UK with a passport which expires in 2012, her father is British national, I’m Honduran, we divorced after she was born and my daughter lives with me now in Honduras also, I was granted custody.

How do I apply for renewal of her passport while abroad and since I have her passport which is about to expire, I need to know which documents do I need to submit to apply for her new passport and if her photos need to be countersigned by someone in the UK or if I can have it done by someone who has known her here in Honduras for at least 2 yrs?

If the latter is possible which are the requisites to have the countersignature of a Honduran person accepted by the UK authorities who will issue the passport renewal?

ANSWER: OK firstly, to renew your child’s UK passport while in Honduras you will need to fill out the form C2 which you can download here British passport application form C2

Supporting docs
As well as the application form you will also need to send your child’s full birth certificate and your full birth certificate.

Who can countersign?
You can have someone who has known your child in Honduras for at least 2 yrs to countersign the photos, click on the link for a complete list of Suitable Professions

Where to send application
All UK passport applications made abroad will now go through one of seven Regional Passport Processing Centres depending on where you are.
You will send yours to:

Regional Passport Processing Centre
British Embassy
19 Observatory Circle N.W.
Washington DC 20008

How much will it cost?
Child passport (32 pages) – $134

Courier Fee
You will be required to pay a courier fee of $33 to cover the cost of the return of supporting documents from Washington DC.

Can my Japanese husband apply for a Japanese passport for our son without my permission?

QUESTION: I am worried that my husband wants to take our son to Japan without me. (his mother) What does he need in order to apply for a passport for him?

Can I stop him?

ANSWER: I am sorry but we cannot advise you on Japanese passport regulations.

But I would suggest that you write to the Japanese passport office and explain to them that you do not want anyone including your husband to apply for a Japanese passport for your son without written permission from you first.

I can’t tell you if this will be enough to stop your husband from getting a passport for your son but I think it would be a good place to start. Please seek some more advice on this matter by contacting the Japanese embassy in London.

My son has an expired child passport and needs an adult UK passport

QUESTION: My son is 17 has an expired childs UK passport and needs his first adult UK passport. He has joined the army and I would like to know does he need to go for an interview and do his new photos need to be countersigned?

ANSWER: Your son will not need to attend an interview if he has previously held a child passport issued in the UK.

His new passport photos will need to be certified due to the fact that he will probably look somewhat different than the photo on his last UK child passport.

Who can verify my son's UK passport photos?

QUESTION: Are the staff at the local children’s centre okay to verify my 3 year old son’s identity on the photos?

They have known us for about 2 and a half years I am not sure who can countersign the photo, my only other idea is my friend who has known me for 11 years now and is an accountant in the NHS.

I am not sure whether she is a chartered accountant or not.

ANSWER: Whoever you get to countersign your form, they should have known you and your son for at least 2 years and they must:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • hold a current British or Irish passport
  • be happy to write their passport number on your UK passport application form
  • work in a recognised profession

Also

  • they must not be related to you
  • they must not be involved with you personally
  • they must not live at home with you
  • and they must not work for the Identity & Passport Service

Your accountant friend sounds OK as long as they are not your partner.

For a full list of professions who can sign your son’s photos click on the link UK passport photos.

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UK Passport Entry Requirements FAQ’s

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Travelling to Spain on 17th December 2011!

QUESTION: My passport will expire on the 28 January 2012. Will I be able to travel to Spain 17th December and returning on 26th December 2011?
I am concerned that I have read that there should be 6 months left on the expiry date of the passport for travel.

ANSWER: It is true that when travelling to some countries your passport needs to valid for least 6 months but when visiting Spain your British passport only needs to be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

So you will be fine to travel to Spain in December with your current British passport.

What are the passport entry requirements for Thailand?

QUESTION: If my son who is 14 has a UK passport which is expiring in December 2012, is it alright to travel to Thailand in August?

ANSWER: Entry to Thailand is normally refused if you have a passport with less than six months validity. My advice would be not to take the risk and have your son renew his UK passport before visiting Thailand in August.

UK Passport entry requirements for Turkey

QUESTION:We are travelling to Turkey in August 2013 but my son’s passport expires in April 2012.
Is this valid for travel?

ANSWER: You say that your son’s passport expires in April 2012, if this is the case then he won’t be going anywhere until his passport is renewed.
If however that was just a typo and you meant to say April 2014 then this is my advice:

The passport entry requirements for Turkey state that your UK passport needs to be valid for at least six months on entry into Turkey and have at least three months validity from the date you are exiting Turkey. So as long as your son leaves Turkey 3 months before his passport expires 2014, which I assume he will be, then you’ll be fine.

I live in Greece and my UK passport runs out on 1st November 2012!

QUESTION:Hi, I live in Greece, and I am married to a Greek. My UK passport runs out on November 1st 2012, it is now October 13th 2012.

Do I need to go to Athens to renew it? I live in karditsa, or can I do it by post?

Where can I get an application form and how much does it cost for a renewal?
Thanks
Grace.

ANSWER: Hi Grace
Thank you for your enquiry.
You can renew your UK passport by mail and you will need to send the application form (plus old passport and any supporting documents) to the Passport Processing Centre in Madrid, Spain.

The address:
UK Regional Passport Processing Centre
British Consulate-General Madrid
Torre Espacio
Paseo de la Castellana 259D
28046 Madrid
Spain

The application Form
The form you will need is called a C1 form and you can download it and then print it off here. British passport application form C1

How to send
It is recommended that you send your application by secure means such as a courier. If you do use a courier to submit your application you should not pay for a return service, as this is covered by a separate fee.

Fee
32-page UK passport – €164

Supporting documents
Along with the application form you will need to send back your old passport and your original birth certificate (long version)

Delivery
Please make sure that you write your complete return address correctly on your application form.
Please also ensure that you choose a return address where you (or someone authorised by you) will be available to sign for your new passport and supporting documents.

Your new UK will take around 4 weeks to process and will be sent to you from the UK. Your supporting documents will be sent back to you from the Passport Processing Centre. Both shipments are handled by DHL Worldwide.

If there is anything that you are not sure about please contact the British embassy in Greece.
You can find their details here: British Embassy Greece

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