Frequent Questions: Child Appointments
Thousands of travellers are heading off this summer to all corners of the globe and many of those people are families making the most of their children having 6 weeks off school. As we are all aware this is one of the busiest times of the year for travel. All modes of transport including airports, ports and Eurotunnel see a huge surge in passengers.
Unfortunately, some customers might miss out on their holiday plans if they have not checked if they need to apply or renew their child's passport. Hundreds of urgent passport appointments are attended all over the country by customers who are trying to ensure they can travel with their children and get their passports returned in time.
We understand that the application process can be daunting, especially for a child's application, but we have put together all of the frequently asked questions regarding children and urgent passports to help you decide your next step.
Does my child need to attend the appointment if they are under 16?
As your child is considered a minor as their parent or guardian you are legally responsible for their application, therefore they do not need to attend the passport appointment. +3.
HM Passport Offices ask that customers leave small children at home as this makes the process faster and easier and also ensures that customers are seen as quickly as possible.
The parent or legal guardian that wishes to attend the appointment must also be the person who signs section 9 of the application form.
Can a third party attend my child's interview and what do I need to do?
If the parent or guardian is unable to attend the passport interview you are able to nominate a third to attend on your behalf.
In order for a third party to attend you will need the following:
• Valid photo ID, e.g. passport, driving licence, or utility bill that's less than 3 months old.
• A signed and dated letter from you, naming them and giving them permission to both submit and collect the passport on your behalf. (This letter must be signed & dated, it must also reference both the applicant and attendee with full names, for example it cannot read "I give permission to my mother to attend" it must read similar to "I Mr John Smith give permission to Mrs Julie Smith to both attend and collect my passport on my behalf".
• The application receipt (received when the cashier accepted the application).
• Booking reference number (do not forget this as you will need to present this to gain access to the office)
What do I need do if my child is turning 16 on or near the appointment date?
If your child is turning 16 on the appointment date or within 7 days of the appointment date then HM Passport Office will upgrade the child's passport to an adult's passport and therefore you will be able to take advantage of the Premium 1 day service.
However, please be aware that if this is the case the passport will still only be valid for 5 years as per a child's passport. We advise customers, where possible, to make an appointment for their child's passport either on or after their child's 16th birthday. Then, you will not only be upgraded to an adult's passport but it will also be valid for 10 years.
My child is changing from a child's passport to an adult's passport, can they attend the appointment alone?
As the application will be turning into an adult application your child can attend their interview alone. Please be aware that they will need to attend the appointment themselves unless they nominate you as a third person to attend on their behalf. Details on how to do this can be found above.
When you are filling in the application or attending the appointment it is important to know that if your child has had a child's passport you are renewing it into an adult's passport. If your child has never held a passport then your applying for a first time adult passport.
Can I use the urgent services for my child's passport?
But these services are limited when applying for or renewing a child's passport. Please see below for details on which service is suitable for you.
1 Week Fast-Track Service
You can use this service for the following
• First time child's passport
• Renewal of child's passport
• Renewal of child's passport into an adult's passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child's passport
Please note: If you replacing a lost passport you will also need to fill out an LS01 form and submit this with your correct and complete application form.
1 Day Premium Service
• Renewal of child's passport into an adult's passport
Unfortunately, you are unable to use this service for any other type of passport application. If you are renewing a child's passport but they are turning 16 on or after the appointment date and would like to use the 1 Day Premium Service please let the operator know when booking the appointment.
My child is under 16, which parent needs to sign the application form?
Either parent can sign the application form on behalf of the child providing you have parental responsibility. It is also important to be aware that which ever parent signs the application has to be the parent that attends the passport interview on behalf of the child.
If the parent or guardian that signed the application is unable to attend the passport interview for any reason you will need to nominate a third party to go on your behalf. Details of this can be found above.
Does my child's application need to be countersigned?
You must get your form and one of your 2 photos signed if you're applying for a:
• First child passport
• Replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged child's passport
• Renewal of a passport for a child aged 11 or under
• Renewal of a passport if your child's appearance has changed and they can't be recognised from their existing passport
What will happen at the passport interview?
When attending your urgent passport appointment, it is important to remember that you will be arriving at a government building and will go through airport style security, including metal detectors x-ray machines and searches to your personal items. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your appointment and do not bring any weapons, sharp objects, like scissors or metal nail files, knives or bottled liquids as these will not be permitted inside the building.
You will need to ensure you have bought with you your child's full complete and correct application, with 2 passport sized photos as well as and supporting documents you may need. If you do not have any or all of these The Passport Office will not be able to process your application and you will lose not only your appointment slot but also the fee you have paid. You will then need to rebook and pay again for a second appointment.
Please do not wait until you are at your appointment to complete your application, ensure you have completed this prior to your appointment.
Each passport applicant has a 15-minute appointment, these appointments are back to back and this is why it is so important to allow plenty of travel time prior to your appointment. You will be asked to wait in their waiting area, there will be several passport officers in this area that will be happy to help with any questions you might have or any assistance you may require - If you require extra assistance with wheelchair access please advise the office when booking your appointment. Upon your arrival you will be given a ticket with your appointment number on, there are big screens within the waiting area will show ticket numbers and which area you are to go to.
If you are attending for a 1 week Fast-Track appointment you supporting documents and new passport will be sent out within 7 days, if you are attending for the 1 day Premium service you will be given a receipt after your appointment and will be asked to return in a minimum of 4 hours to collect your new passport.
Unfortunately, if you are late for your appointment or miss your appointment all together you will not be able to attend and you will lose your appointment slot and your passport application fee. Due to the extremely tight schedule The Passport Office are on they are unable to accept any customers who arrive late for any reason, passport fees are non-refundable.
Attending passport interview can be confusing as well as daunting, we aim to provide the best information available to make your passport process as easy and as stress free as possible.
For more information or to book an urgent passport appointment