Passports are valid for ten years, so it’s not unusual to forget when yours is up for renewal – after all, it’s been a decade since you applied for it. Your passport details are needed when you are booking a flight, so if you’re planning a holiday or a business trip and need to enter your passport details to check in to your flight online, this could be the first time that you notice that yours is about to expire. Whilst you will still be able to process and complete your booking, you will need to make sure that you have a new passport in time for your trip. The good news is that there are several things you can do to speed up the process of renewing or replacing it if you need an urgent passport. We’ve looked at some of the options.
#1. Speed Up the Process:
Typically, the standard waiting time for a new passport is around three weeks’ time, costing £72.50 if you apply for your new passport online, or £10.35 extra if you apply with the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send. However, if three weeks is too long to wait as you have an imminent trip that you need a passport for, the good news is that you can speed up the process for a fee. You can use the one-week Fast Track passport service to get your passport within the next seven days, or if you need it even sooner, the One Day Premium service is available to get your new passport to you as quickly as possible. In order to take advantage of the One Day service, you will need to book an appointment at your nearest Passport Customer Service Centre. There is a variation of locations that you can visit. There are options for everyone. You can head to Passports-office.co.uk to find out more about the locations. For example if you are based in Scotland there is the option of the Passport Office Glasgow and other areas around the UK, as there may be one closer to your location that you can visit instead. You can also make an appointment at your local passport office via this site.
#2. What You’ll Need to Provide:
In order to take advantage of the One Day Premium service and get your new passport as quickly as possible, you will need to ensure that you have the right documentation to hand. Once you have made your appointment at the most convenient Passport Customer Service Centre, you should have a completed application form ready, along with two suitable passport photographs and any supporting documents such as other forms of identification, your expired passport, proof of address, and any required co-signature. Your passport will usually be ready to collect within a few hours after your appointment or within half an hour if you use Online Premium.
#3. How to Use the One Week Service:
If you don’t need your passport on the same day but still need it quickly, the One Week Fast Track service may be a more suitable choice for you. Using this service, you can have your passport sent to your home address within seven days, excluding bank holidays. You will still need to attend an appointment at your nearest Passport Customer Service Centre to take advantage of this service and have all the relevant documentation available at the time. Bear in mind that you may need to sign for your passport when it arrives in the post, so make sure that somebody is at home when you are expecting it. It will cost you £103 to use the One Week service. If you have already applied for your passport and need to have the delivery sped up, you may be able to upgrade your existing application to fast track in certain exceptional circumstances.
#4. Other Key Things to Know:
Applying for a standard passport usually means that you can complete an application form online before printing it and sending it along with your passport photographs. However, you will be unable to use this service if you want to get your passport quickly. You will need to obtain and complete a paper application form from your local Post Office. Or you can use the Online Premium passport renewal service. Then, book your appointment at the Passport Customer Service Centre and pay the relevant fee for the service you require. Bear in mind that you will not be able to get a refund for the fee if you cancel or miss the appointment or if you fail to bring your completed application form, photographs and required supporting documents. If you’re unsure which documents you will need to bring in with you, the booking line should be able to clarify this for you.
#5. Can Somebody Else Attend My Appointment?
Yes! If you are unable to make it to your appointment for collecting your passport, then you will be able to send a trusted relative or friend for it on your behalf, as long as you are in the UK. This person will need to ensure that they bring identification, such as their own passport or driving licence with them, and they will also need to provide a signed and dated letter from yourself stating that you are giving them your permission to attend the appointment and collect your passport on your behalf. They will also need your application receipt, which will have been given to you when you made your application. If you plan to send somebody else to collect your passport on your behalf it’s a wise idea to inform the Passport Customer Service Centre you are using of this beforehand, to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
#6. Are Refunds Ever Possible?
In most cases, you will not be able to get a refund on your passport application fee if you cancel or are unable to make it to your appointment. However, you may be able to apply for a refund in certain exceptional circumstances. These include the death or serious illness of a family member, if you are seriously ill, or if you need to travel abroad for medical treatment. If any of these circumstances apply to you then you can claim your refund back in writing by sending proof of circumstances to the relevant Passport Customer Service Centre. You can also claim a refund of your fee back if your passport fails to arrive on time. Address any claims that you send to the Customer Service Manager.
#7. Changing Passport Details:
What if your passport is still valid – but your details have changed? If you’ve recently changed your name via deed poll or have got married, it’s important to make sure that the name on your flight booking matches that on your passport – otherwise, you will not usually be allowed to leave the country. If you need to change details on your passport urgently then you can use the same services as listed above. Bear in mind that if you are ordering a new passport due to a change in name, you will need to provide proof of this at your appointment – make sure that you have your deed poll to prove a name change or your marriage/civil partnership certificate if applicable.
Realising that you won’t be able to travel with your current passport when you have a trip coming up soon can be stressful. These fast-track services will help you ensure that you can travel stress-free and on time!