Applying for your passport
Please note, the following information relates to British citizens applying for British passports.
If you want to go on holiday abroad, you will need a passport. Passports last for ten years, so if yours has expired, you will need to renew.
You can apply online to receive, renew, replace or update your passport. It is £9.50 cheaper to apply online rather than by post, although post is also an option if you prefer. If you want to apply for your passport this way, you need to get a form from the Post Office. You can also use the Post Office Check & Send service, if you are unsure or nervous about filling in your passport application.
Applying online is really straightforward, especially if you are renewing your passport. You need to fill in your details including the number of your old passport, and provide a photo. You can take your own photo using your mobile phone and upload it, or get photos professionally taken and provide the code to retrieve the photo online. If you are applying for your first passport, the system will tell you what documents you need to send to prove your identity, and you can get someone to verify your identity online.
When I applied online for my passport renewal, I received it in just two weeks. My family applied a few weeks later, and while their passports took a little longer (possibly because the number of applications were increasing), they still got their passports in less than a month.
It’s important to note that while the standard processing time is 5 weeks (6 for a first-time passport), it’s best to apply well in advance of when you might need it just in case, and ideally avoid booking any travel until you have received it.
If you need a passport urgently there is a fast-track service, but this does cost more.