Baby's first UK Passport, what you need to know.
Applying for your babies' first passport is a straight forward process, but there are a few additional things to consider in certain circumstances. For example if the child is only a young infant or has been born either abroad or has one or more parents that do not hold a current British passport, there may be additional documentation and/or information you will need to provide, please see below for more information relating to first child passports:
Who can apply
• If your child is under the age of 16
• If you legally have 'parental responsibility' for them as a biological parent, adopted parent or guardian
• They are a British citizen, either through birth or naturalisation through parent(s)
You automatically have parental responsibility if you:
• Are the child's mother
• Are the child's father and are either (present on the birth certificate or married to the child's mother)
• Were married to the child's mother when the child was born (or, in Scotland, when the mother became pregnant)
• Have adopted the child (alone, or jointly)
To enable you to get your child's first UK passport you must first prove that they are eligible for British nationality; this can be done by providing a full British birth/adoption or naturalisation certificate for the child.
If either of the child's parents are British citizens with UK passports then you can simply include the details for your passports on the child's application. If neither of you were born in the UK nor do you have British citizenship it's worth noting that the process will be different, and you will need to apply to the Home Office for naturalisation of your child before applying for a first British Passport.
In 2007 it became necessary for your child's passport to also be countersigned. This is considered someone who knows both the parent and the child and can certify that the picture is a good likeness to the child. If you are not familiar with someone who can do it, each passport application pack contains a helpful guide book which has a handy list of people who qualify to countersign, you can also review this via our countersigning article.
Your child's photograph
• Children must be the only one present in the photograph.
• Babies must not be holding toys or using dummies.
• Children under 6 years old do not have to be looking directly at the camera or have a neutral expression.
• Children under 1 year old do not have to have their eyes open. If their head is supported by a hand, the hand must not be visible in the photo.
Tips for babies
• Lay your baby down on a white sheet
• Position you're your digital camera direct above the baby - this stops you having to support the baby's head a neck while also getting a clear shot of your baby
• Use a toy directly behind the camera to try and keep your baby's attention
• Take plenty of pictures in quick succession - this allows you to look through them and pick the most appropriate one
What documents to include
When applying for any first time passport you will need to include the child's full birth certificate with your passport application (this must be the full version showing parents details, the shortly abbreviated version will be rejected). Please note that the Passport Office also does not accept copies, the documents provided must be originals. (Please note that if you are just renewing your child's passport a birth certificate is only required if the passport has been lost or stolen).
If you need a replacement birth certificate you can get one online at gro.gov.uk or contact your local registry office.
Parents are only required to provide additional documents if:
One or more of the parents does not currently hold a British Passport (The parents must then provide original foreign birth certificates or a passport to prove identity)
If a parent's name is different to the name shown on the full birth certificate of the child. (The parent in question must provide either an original marriage certificate or deed poll confirmation to prove the legal name change).
What are the timescales & costs?
A first time child passport costs £46.00 for standard postal service (4-6 weeks) and £87.00 for fast-track one-week service (this requires an appointment at a local office).
The premium one-day service is not available for first time child passports as there is more paperwork to process so please leave yourself plenty of time when applying for your child's first passport.