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How to renew a UK passport online

It’s the beginning of the year and with 2020 stretching out ahead of us, this is the time that lots of us think about booking our holidays. It’s also a good time to think about your passport and whether it is in date.

If you are looking to renew your UK passport anytime soon, here is our guide to doing it online.

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What you need

The main thing you need to renew your passport online is your existing passport. You will be required to provide information about your existing passport as part of your application, so make sure you have it to hand.

You will be required to pay a fee. The fee for an online passport renewal is £75.50. This payment can be made online as part of the application, so have a debit or credit card to hand.

You will need a current digital photo of yourself. There are several ways in which you can get a digital passport photo. You can take the photo yourself using your smartphone or tablet, you can have a digital photo taken at a photo shop or you can use a photo booth which provides a code for the digital file (though not all booths provide this service).

Before taking your photo, make sure you check the rules for digital photos so that it meets the criteria (e.g. looking straight at the camera, no hair on your face, no shadows, etc).

One thing you won’t need when applying for an online passport renewal is a countersignatory – as long as you can be recognised from the photo in your existing passport.

How to apply

To apply online for a UK passport renewal, you will need to visit the website and follow the application steps. First, you will need to answer a few questions about your application, such as do you live in the UK and whether or not you have had a UK passport before. This helps the site to ascertain whether it really is a passport renewal that you need, not a first-time passport or a replacement.

Once you have completed this stage, you will be taken through to the main body of the application. Here you will be able to upload your digital photo. When you have uploaded your photo (and it has been approved by the site), you will be taken through to complete the rest of the application and make your payment. As long as you have your personal information and your existing passport to hand, it is pretty straight forward.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be responsible for returning your old passport to the HM Passport Office. You will then receive your new passport through the post within three weeks of making your application.

If you are worried about getting your application correct, you can use the Post Office’s Check and Send service for online applications. For this service you will be required to pay £15.40 on top of the renewal fee, but it means that the Post Office will take your photo using the correct specifications, fill in your details and submit your application for you. They will then send your old passport to the HM Passport Office via special delivery.

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