Renew Your Passport Before The New Year Rush

Many customers are often unaware that November / December is the best time to apply for or renew your passport due to the peak and off-peak times. On average turnaround times for applications during this time can be 30-40% faster than in January, this is due to the fact that once the holiday season has passed many customers will opt to renew or replace their passports for the coming holiday season of May-August after booking holidays in the January sales.



Standard Postal Applications

Due to this we recommend sending your applications during this month to avoid delays and get in before the January rush, many customers report that during the month of December times for new passports to be issued with the standard postal service are on average 2-3 weeks as apposed to the normal 3-5 week turnaround in peak seasons.

If you would like to apply for the standard postal service you can do so online, once you have applied online all you will need to do is print off the Declaration and send in the post with photos (and any additional supporting documents) to complete your application.



Urgent Appointments

Booking an urgent appointment prior to Christmas is also a good idea, most offices will have much more availability at short notice usually within 1-3 days, after the Christmas period waiting times for appointment services can jump up to 5-7 days in advance. This means that the standard services on offer such as the 1 Day Premium or 7 Day Fast Track services will become 6-8 days and 12-14 days respectively from the booking date.

If you would like to avoid the coming peak season you can book your appointment online today.



Don't get caught out

Many customers throughout the year often don't realize the time frames involved with renewing a passport either via the postal services or when booking an urgent appointment. We have provided an informative list of the time frames for your guidance:


• 1 Day Service Time frames

When booking this service you must attend most offices prior to 12pm in order to receive your passport the same day, those attending after this time in most cases will need to return the following (working day) to collect the new passport.
Please also bear in mind that when booking this service as stated above you can often only get an available appointment date within 2-5 days at the time of booking, therefore you will need to leave yourself enough time when traveling.


• 1 Week Fast-Track Time frames

When booking this service you must attend most offices prior to 12pm in order to receive your passport within the guaranteed 7 day period, those attending after this time will add an extra day to the processing time making it an 8 day service. When opting for the fast-track week service you will attend the appointment in person, your new passport will then be sent to you via secure courier service within the guaranteed time frame.

Please also bear in mind that when booking this service as stated above you can often only get an available appointment date within 2-5 days at the time of booking, which often means that this service becomes a 9-14 day service from the date of booking.

Important: If you have lost your passport or it is damaged beyond reasonable wear and tear then you are only able to use the 1 Week Service (you are not able to use the 1 Day Premium Service).


Postal Services Time frames

When applying for your passport application via the standard postal service the average time frames are 2-4 weeks and there is no guarantee of a set number of days it could be anytime within this guideline that you receive your new passport. This time frame is also increased to 5-6 weeks if this is a first-time adult passport and you have never had a passport before as a child, this is because as a new adult applying you will need to attend an interview at a local office as part of your application.


Important points to note:

No expedition for postal applications
Once you have started an application via the post, there is no way to then speed up the process or upgrade your application as it is already in progress. For this reason you need to be aware of the time frames and decide very carefully before applying for your passport via the postal services, if you are unsure if you have enough time it is advisable to book an urgent appointment before sending your form in the post.

Post Office is not a Fast-Track
Most customers assume that when using the Post Office Check & Send Service that this is a fast-track service that will guarantee your passport within 2 weeks, this is not the case. The Post Office only provides a check of document service, they do not use special delivery and once checked, your passport application will only be sent via second class post, therefore the 2-4 week time frames will still apply even when using the Check & Send Service.

Need more information?

Talk with the Passport Office Adviceline team

0905 801 7202

Lines open 9am-5:30pm

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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