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Renewing your Passport

Planning a trip abroad this year? It’s essential that you check your passport is still valid and within date – but also to check the passport validity rules for where you’re going, as some countries require a certain number of valid months remaining.

Even if your passport is valid for the duration of your stay abroad, don’t assume that everything is fine as many countries apply rules about how many months you need left on your passport, and how old your passport can be.

Countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand will require at least six months validity when entering the country.

Since Brexit, this stipulation includes most European Union (EU) countries, and if you are travelling to the EU, your passport needs to be less than 10 years old on the day you enter, and valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

You can check if your passport will be valid for your trip on the GOV.UK website. You’ll need to search for the country you’re going to and click on ‘entry requirements’.

If you need a new passport, it’s cheapest to apply online directly on the GOV.UK website or by paper using a form available at the Post Office.

Passport fees have recently increased by seven percent. An online application for an adult passport (over 16 years old) now costs £88.50, and £57.50 for a child’s passport (under 16 years old). Applying directly using a paper form costs an extra £11.50.  

For an online passport application, the only website you will need is the GOV.UK website, whether it is to apply for your first passport, renewing an old one, or getting a passport for your child.

If you do need help, the Post Office’s Check & Send service can help you apply for your passport whether you want to apply digitally (without completing forms) or have completed paper forms. Their service ensures you’ve included the correct documents, that your photos don’t breach any of the restrictions and that you’ve filled in the forms correctly. It’ll also send your application and/or documents by special delivery. It costs £16 on top of the passport fee.

Beware of ‘copycat’ websites that look like the official ‘GOV.UK’ Government website for passports, as these copycat sites will charge you an extra £20-£100 on top of the official passport fee. Many are just expensive form-filling services, though some also offer a ‘checking’ service.

Apply for your passport as early as you can – it can take several weeks to process in busy times.  If you urgently need an adult passport urgently, it costs more; a one-day premium service costs £207.50; a one-week service costs £166.50.

To access the premium service you’ll need to book an appointment at a passport office and pay online. Alternatively, call the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000 to book an appointment and pay.



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