Passport renewals: how long does it take, fast track, cost

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The Home Office has warned that applying for a passport could take longer than expected

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The Home Office has warned British travelers that passport renewal could take 10 weeks as they deal with the backlog following the Covid pandemic and travel restrictions.

HM Passport Office has seen a significant drop in the number of people applying for passports, with over 5 million people delaying their applications in 2020 and 2021.

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As a result, UK travelers waiting for their passports could face a long wait.

Abi Tierney, Director General of HM Passport Office said: “Now that international travel has resumed we know people will be trying to go on holiday and yet many people are leaving too late to get a passport apply for.

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“The summer holidays are fast approaching. So if you need a new passport, we urge you to apply now.

“Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure passport applications are processed as quickly as possible.”

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Here we take a look at how to renew your passport, who issues it and if there is a way to expedite applications.

How do you renew your passport?

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Renewal of your passport is usually done when it has expired or there is not enough time to travel.

How much time it takes you to get your passport depends on the country you are visiting. Most countries require your passport to be valid for at least three months from the date you return home. Some require this to be at least six months.

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It’s worth checking the rules for your destination well in advance via UK Foreign Office travel information and checking the rules for your airline as different companies may have different rules.

You can renew your passport online for £75.50 via the GOV.UK website and you will need a digital photo, a credit or debit card and your current passport.

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You can also renew your passport via a paper application.

Paper applications are available through a post office that offers check-and-send service or by calling the Passport Adviceline.

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However, this is a more expensive method, costing £85, and payment can be made by debit or credit card, or cheque. You must also provide 2 new and identical printed passport photos of yourself.

Who delivers UK passports?

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TNT, a FedEX company, has an exclusive contract to deliver travel documents for the UK Passport Office.

After receiving a notification that your passport has been printed, TNT says tracking will be available in “a few working days.”

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Passports need to be signed, so tracking is invaluable to ensure you receive your documents safely.

However, TNT says they are “noticing higher than expected demand for our delivery service. As a result, deliveries may take longer than usual.”

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Can I track my passport renewal application quickly?

There are some Premium and Fast Track services for those who urgently need a passport, but these appointments are limited and in high demand.

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Further information on the application process can be found at gov.uk.

The one-week Fast Track applications cannot be submitted online, so you must obtain a paper application form from a post office.

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You must then book and pay for an appointment online.

It costs £142 for an adult pass or £152 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport and £122 for a child pass or £132 for a 50-page frequent traveler passport.

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Then you should fill out your application form and collect all the documents before your appointment.

At your appointment you will need two identical printed passport photos, the completed application form in paper form and other evidence.

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