Say goodbye to the days when you had to pay out for a passport photo. According to The Home Office, your passport photo can now be taken on your smart phone when renewing your passports online. This means a trip to your nearest photo booth will no longer be necessary.
This comes as great news for passport holders as renewal costs continue to rise, plus taking your own photos is a great way to save pennies you could be spending on your travels. But please note – this new rule will not affect those who are applying for their first passport or replacing a passport that has been lost or stolen.
However, you won’t be able to use just any photo, it will have to fit the guidelines, and selfies will not be accepted. A spokesperson said, “customer guidance clearly says that ‘selfies’ are not permitted and that the photo needs to be taken from a distance of approximately 1.5 metres.”
Up until now, those purchasing a UK passport were expected to send off two prints taken by a machine – these prints would also need to be countersigned by someone who works in or is retired from a recognised profession.
Although most people seem to be all for this new change, others have expressed their concerns. Lord Harris of Haringey, who sits on the national security strategy joint committee, stated the new change could be a security risk as it will be easier for people to alter their photos, which could result in fraud.
This could also mean the end of photo booth machines as passports are the main reason people still use them.
The Home Office has also discussed the importance of digital signatures and are also looking into phasing out signatures in this format. Instead, passport holders will be able to sign their document after it has been distributed. This rule is already underway in the US and New Zealand who are already accepting digital passport application forms.
What do you think about the new changes? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.