Advice For Urgent Passport Appointments
There have always been peak times for passport applications, and the summer period is one of the highest. But last year saw a staggering increase of over 200,000 more applicants than the same time period in 2013. Ministers suggested that this sharp increase was caused by a marked upturn in the economy. With many people wanting to take advantage of this upturn, the delays were so severe that an independent investigation was put in place to get to the bottom of the delays and help prevent it from happening again.
When you look at figures like that, it's quite understandable that people wanting to travel promptly looked into Premium and Fast-Track services, as the average waiting time for a passport more than doubled to 7-8 weeks. Urgent services are being used more and more to guarantee people have there passport on time for travelling. We do always recommend never to book travel until you've received your passport but if you have, then these services may be the way forward for your application.
If you are looking to use the Fast-Track or Premium Services available it's important to remember you need to book an appointment in advance. These services are fantastic if you need your passport in a hurry. If you're in need of an urgent passport appointment try using our Passport Office Finder
Fast-Track or Premium?
For those of you that are trying to decide whether to opt for the fast-track or premium services, here's a few things that could help you decide the best option for you.
The Premium service means you'll get your passport within 4 hours of your application being accepted. It is extremely important that you have all the relevant documents with you on the day of the appointment and that the photos and application are complete and correct, if not this could delay the process. Once you have attended your appointment, you must return to the Passport Customer Service Centre after four hours to collect it.
This services is only available for -
• Renew a standard adult 32-page or jumbo 48-page passport
• Change or amend name for a standard adult 32-page or jumbo 48-page passport (with a marriage or civil partnership certificate).
This service is NOT available for first time applicants, children's passports or to change or amend any other details apart from a name change by marriage or civil partnership.
The Fast Track service means your passport is delivered to your home address within 8 days of your application being accepted. Again it is important to remember all your documents, photos and applications are complete and correct to avoid delays. There is also peace of mind knowing your passport will be delivered directly to you by secure courier.
This service is available for ALL types of passport applications including children's, renewals, first time child applications and for lost, damaged or stolen passports. If you would like anymore information on these services you can Contact the Passport Office, please also see our article on attending passport appointments.
What To Expect From Your Appointment
If you have never attended an appointment at the Passport Office it's quite understandable to be apprehensive, so hopefully with a little information from us we can help put your mind at ease.
• Always remember you need to book your appointment in advance, under no circumstances will they allow walk-in appointments.
• You must take your booking reference number with you as they will not let you into the building without it.
• You must arrive at least 15mins prior to your appointment - this is because you are required to pass through airport style security on your way in. So please remember no knives, tools or sharp objects, even things like mental nail files and clippers will not be allowed. If you have to leave the building for any reason and renter you will have to do this again.
• You will be given a ticket with a reference number and you should sit near one of the screens to see if you are being called.
• Your actual appointment will only last between 20-30mins
• You are only allowed one person per appointment, other party members may be asked to wait outside the building so remember to plan ahead.
• If you are there for a child's passport the child does not have to be present and it is advisable to leave babies and small children at home.
• If you are using the Premium Service you will be given a receipt and asked to return in four hours - this is a great chance to grab something to eat a coffee and relax or double check you've got everything planned and organised for your upcoming trip.
• There are great travel links to all Passport Offices with bus stops, train and tube stations near all offices. If you are planning on driving please check parking availability in your area prior to travelling.
So many people endure the anxiety and stress of waiting for their passport to arrive, this is often an added worry that many of us simply don't want or need. We only recommend using these urgent services if you are travelling within 4 weeks, we also recommend to not book travel arrangement until you have your new passport in your procession to save further problems and any loss of booked travel.