HOLIDAYS are back on after millions of travellers were forced to stay at home during the pandemic.
But if you're dusting off your passport and finding it's out of date, here's everything you need to know about renewing it – including the cost and how to get it cheaper.
How do I apply to renew a passport?
You must renew your passport if it has expired before you travel abroad – and if you have lost it you must replace it.
Some destinations won't let you travel if your passport is about to expire, even if the date hasn't passed yet – you can check the list of countries' policies here.
Renewing passports can be done online or via a paper form.
To renew online visit the gov.uk website.
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You must have a clear, in-focus and in-colour photo taken in the last month – and it must be a new photo from your now-expired passport even if your appearance is still the same. You should not smile in the photo.
For paper applications you must have two identical 45mmx35mm pictures attached.
Applications can be delayed if the photo criteria is not met.
You can then fill in the online application form or fill out the paper form.
Paper forms can be collected at a Post Office or by contacting Passport Adviceline.
However, in cases of emergency there are ways to get a passport urgently, but be warned these are much more expensive than standard renewals.
You will need photos countersigned for some passports – notably if it's your first one.
It is important to note that time left on your old passport will no longer be added to your new one.
How much does it cost to renew a passport?
The cost of renewing your passport depends on how you do it – online or by post.
renew an adult passport by post, or update details like your name, will set you back £85.
But do it online and you'll pay just £75.50 and saving yourself £9.50.
The same goes for kids passports, which cost £49 using paperwork sent to the passport office – or £58.50 online.
So if you're a family of four with two adults and two kids, and they all need renewing, you could stand to save a nice sum of £38 by doing it online instead of by post.
It is free to renew a passport for anyone born on or before September 2, 1929.
You could also use the check and send service from the Post Office to avoid any errors – but this will cost you more than the standard renewal.
The service costs £101 if you do it by post or £91.50 online, which is £9.50 cheaper.
How long does it take to renew a passport?
Simple applications and renewals should normally take around five weeks – but applying for a first-time passport can take six weeks.
But the passport office advises allowing up to 10 weeks, and any errors on your application can slow down the process.
If you need a fast-tracked passport urgently, you can book a passport office appointment up to three weeks in advance and get a passport at the meeting.
Your new passport is the
n delivered within one week.
What colour will my new passport be when I renew it?
The government started issuing the blue passports in 2020, so anyone renewing now will get the new design instead of the previous burgundy colour.
The design change came into effect following Britain's exit from the European Union.
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