Mistakes On Passport Applications

One of the biggest causes of delays in passport applications are down to errors made on your application. These errors can be quite varied, and you may not be aware of all of the rules and regulations surrounding mistakes on your passport application. Errors can include many things from misspelled names, crossing out mistakes in the wrong way, using the wrong coloured pen and even smudges and smears from the ink on your paper.

We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring your application is complete and correct at the time of you sending it off, mistakes costs customers millions of pounds every year in extra passport appointments, travel and loss of earnings due to extra appointments needed, not to mention those people who miss out on their holidays or travel plans because the haven't received their passport in time. To try and prevent this from happening we have created an informative article on what to look out for and how to rectify any mistakes you may make.

There are two ways to apply for your UK passport and the rules regarding mistakes do vary slightly, so it is important to be aware of these differences before you choose which way you would like to make your application.



Paper forms

If you are thinking of using paper forms for your application and sending them in the post, then here are rules regarding mistakes on your application. These guidelines also apply if you are using the 'Check and Send' service at your local Post Office.

• Always use a black ballpoint pen - No other colour will be accepted

• Always write using clear capital letters - Illegible writing will be refused

• Black out mistakes with a black ballpoint pen - Do not cross them out or use correction fluid

• You are only allowed 3 character mistakes per application - This means if you need to block out 3 or more character boxes on any one application you will need to start a new application or it will be rejected.

• Write within the white boxes and keep your signatures within the border.

• Send original documents this includes documents directly from the General Register Office as these are classed as originals - photocopies or scans will not be accepted

• Make sure you have two colour photographs taken within the last month - They must adhere to the [photo guidelines] http://www.passports-office.co.uk/passport_photos.asp

Please note: The Post Offices 'Check and Send' service is not a guaranteed service, which is clearly stated on their website. The cashiers implementing the 'Check and Send' service are not trained by The Passport Office and it will not guarantee your passport within a specific time-frame.

Many people still assume The Post Office services are a guarantee that their passport will arrive safely and be accepted or that this is also an urgent service, this is not the case. It is important to be aware of what service you require and ensure it is suitable for your needs.



Urgent services

If you are travelling within the next 4 weeks we recommend using our urgent services, these include Fast-Track and Premium services.

Fast- Track 1 Week Service

The following services are available for the Fast-Track 1 Week service:

• Renewal of an adult passport (16+)
• Change name - with marriage or civil partnership certificate
• Replacement of a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport
• First child passport (0-15)
• Renew or change a child passport (0-15)

Premium 1 Day Service

The following services are available for the Premium 1 Day service:

• Renewal of an adult passport (16+)
• Change name - with marriage or civil partnership certificate



Online applications

Online applications do vary slightly from paper or postal applications. Online applications are much easier and far easier to correct should you make a mistake. Online applications are fast becoming the preferred method of applying for passports. Many customers find it a quicker, easier and more convenient way to make their application.

Advantages include being able to complete your application on the go, as and when suits you in a few quick and easy steps. The process is simple and easy to follow, with on screen instructions and you are prompted if a field is missed ensuring all questions are answered in full. Once you have filled in the online form you will then need to complete the payment section. You will then be sent a final signature declaration form to sign and send off in the post along with any supporting documents.

As you have filled all the information online there is no need to worry about writing outside of the boxes, smudges and smears on your application etc. However there are still a few things you need to be aware of:

• Please be wary of web browsers auto-fill settings for information entered on online forms, as it may fill a field incorrectly without your knowledge.

• Please ensure your signature is fully within the box when signing the Declaration Form.

• Your signature must also not be touching the edges of the box.

• Throughout filling in your online application double check all spelling - Correcting errors at this point is much easier then after you have submitted your application.

• When arranging a passport appointment please ensure that the applicants name and the attendees name are accurate - if you do make a mistake with these names please note you can only change the attendees name and not the applicants' name. If you need to change the applicants name for any reason you will lose the fee for this passport application and will have to pay for a second application.

• Please note you can make changes up to 48 hours before your passport appointment, after that unfortunately after that you will need to make another appointment.



What if I make a mistake on my online form?

• If you have made any mistakes with the information submitted online the only way to adjust this is to: send a signed, dated, statement or letter by post along with the signature page which states the error and the correction - this must be signed and dated by the person signing the Declaration Form.

• Ensure your contact telephone number and Email address are accurate - As this is where you will receive your final declaration form and used as a contact point for any issues with your application.

• Ensure that when you print your declaration form off that it is to the correct scale and has not been resized/adjusted by your printer software.

Human error is inevitable in form filling and most people experience it at some point, but minimizing the risks of mistakes happening can lead to a faster more efficient process. We want you to receive your passport as quickly as possible and reducing delays is a key part of the process. After all delays in your passport application process could lead to missed holidays or travel plans.


If you would like to book either of the online services you can do so below:

Standard Application (2-4 weeks)

Urgent Appointment (1-7 days)



Need more information?

Talk with the Passport Office Adviceline team

0905 801 7202

Lines open 8am-8pm

Call connection to HM Passport Office Advice line, calls charged at £1.55 per minute plus your phone provider's access charge. Similar services are available at a reduced cost from gov.uk.

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