Want to know how to get a passport fast if your old one has expired? Well, whether you’re planning a holiday abroad or a bank holiday getaway for once the Covid-19 travel restrictions lift, here’s how to get a passport quickly, and a rundown of how much it will cost you.
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Who can get a passport fast
To be clear, not everyone can apply for an urgent passport.
If you’re applying for your first adult passport, you can’t use a fast-track service. You’ll need to either apply online or through the Post Office the regular way and wait until your application is processed. It can take up to 10 weeks to process applications, so don’t wait until you think you’ll need it to apply. If you hope to holiday once the Covid-19 travel restrictions lift, then apply now!
Are you renewing or replacing a passport, or are you applying for a child’s first passport? Then you might be able to use one of two fast-track services. Here’s how they work.
How to get a passport fast
There are two services available: the one-week ‘Fast Track’ service, or the Online Premium Service. Which one you use depends on how quickly you need your passport, and how much you want to pay.
One-week Fast Track service
If you want a passport fast but won’t need it immediately, consider using the one-week Fast Track service. You can use it for:
- renewal (adult or child)
- child’s first passport
- name change
How much you pay depends on what you want:
- It’s £142 for an adult passport or £152 for the ‘frequent traveller’ version with more pages.
- For children, a one-week Fast Track passport costs £122. You’ll pay £132 if you want the frequent traveller option instead.
To apply, you’ll first need to visit the Post Office and complete a paper application (you can’t apply online). The application form comes with a guidance booklet, so read it first before you complete the form.
Then, book an appointment with your local passport office and take your completed form with you. You’ll also need two identical printed passport photos and any supporting documents like birth or marriage certificates. Check the booklet to see which documents you need.
Your passport will be delivered to your home within a week of your appointment.
Online Premium service
If you need to renew an adult passport immediately, check out the Online Premium service. To be clear, it’s only for renewing adult passports issued after 31 December 2001. You can’t use it to renew an older passport, order a replacement or apply for a child’s first passport.
Since your application is completed within one day, the Online Premium service is more expensive than the Fast Track service. You’ll pay £177 for a basic adult passport, or £187 if you want the 50-page traveller version.
To use this service, you’ll need to apply online and attend an appointment at a passport office. Take your old passport and a digital photo along to the appointment. The appointment should only take 30 minutes or so, and you’ll get your passport before you leave.
Not sure how to take a digital photo of yourself? Don’t worry – the application form contains instructions for you to follow.
If you don’t complete the application properly or your photo isn’t right, you might not get your passport on the same day, so double-check your paperwork before heading to your appointment.
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Find your nearest passport office
Whichever service you use, you’ll need to attend an interview at your nearest passport office. It’s easy enough to find your local centre – just search using your postcode on the search page.
A word of caution, though: don’t attend your appointment if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, or you’re self-isolating. If you can’t make your appointment, give the advice service a call on 0300 222 0000. They’ll advise you what happens next.
If you want to know more about how to get a passport fast, check out the gov.uk website or call the advice service for further details.
Here’s a final tip: do you need someone else to attend your appointment for you? That’s fine, but to avoid issues with fraud and possible identity theft, they’ll need to provide a signed and dated letter from you verifying that they’re authorised to collect the passport on your behalf.
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