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UK passort renewal – Your complete guide to fast track your application

What’s the problem?

Half a million people have now been caught up in the passport renewal/issue backlog with the number having doubled in the last three months. Thousands of passports are now taking longer that the advised three weeks to issue.

Why the delays?

In the first five months of this year the Passport Office received 3.3 million applications, 300,000 more applications than it usually does at this time of year.

How long should it take to renew a passport?

It normally takes three weeks to renew a British passport, while new passports can take up to six weeks.

How long is it currently taking?

It is taking four to eight weeks to renew a British passport and 12 weeks for new passports.

What do standard passports cost?

Standard adult passports cost £72.50 to renew or £81.25 if you use the Post Office’s Passport Check and Send service. Child passports cost £46 or £54.75 respectively.

You can book a premium service where you will receive your passport within 4 hours of your application being accepted. You must collect it from one of the passport customer service centres. This service costs £128.

A fast track one week service will be sent you your home within one week of your application being accepted. You will need to sign for the delivery of your passport. This service costs £103.

You will need to call the passport advice line to book an appointment at a Passport Customer Service Centre.

Urgent travel upgrades

People in the UK will be able to upgrade their passport applications free of charge. To qualify your application must have been with the Passport Office longer than the standard three weeks processing time and through no fault of the individual.

To qualify

  • People must be booked to travel within the next seven days.
  • The Passport Office must have had their application for longer than three weeks, the standard processing time for renewals.
  • Delays to their applications must be “through no fault of their own”. If someone has filled in their form incorrectly or not provided the right information they will not benefit.
  • The scheme takes effect immediately but is temporary and is not retrospective.
  • Adults applying for their first passport will be excluded unless they have valid compassionate grounds for needing to travel.

My passport has not arrived and I’m about to travel

Get in touch with the Passport Office and ask for an update on your application. If you have been waiting longer than the standard three week waiting time ask to be upgraded to the premium one day service. If you are not getting the help you need, get in touch with your local MP and ask them to request an investigation into your application. More and more cases are coming to light where applications have been processed once an MP has been involved.

Can I claim on my travel insurance if I have to cancel a holiday?

Most travel insurance policies only cover the loss of passports; you will not be able to claim on your travel insurance.

What happens if I have to cancel my holiday?

If you need to cancel your holiday you must contact us as soon as possible.

Guide to cancellation charges

  • 14 – 0 days before travel you would lose 100% of the booking price
  • 15 – 21 days before travel you would lose 90% of the booking price
  • 22 – 35 days before travel you would lose 70% of the booking price

Please allow plenty of time when you apply for a new or renewed passport and do not book any travel until you receive your passport.

We do not recommend you to book last minute holidays without the correct documentation for travel, so make sure your passport is valid before confirming your holiday. Have you been caught up in the passport fiasco?