Misconceptions When Renewing Your Passport
The passport application process can be confusing, with so many options, from on-line application submission, to standard postal applications, each can often throw up a lot of questions about the best options for you and your family. In this post we will try to cover some of the key factors in making your application as smooth and hassle free as possible.
Although your passport application comes with an information booklet which should clarify any questions you may have, many people still aren't sure of the most appropriate options for them.
Fast-Track and Premium Services
These services are a great way to ensure you have your passport before your travel date. The Fast-Track services guarantee a 7 day turn-around of your new Passport while the Premium 1 Day Service will guarantee your passport within 4 hours on the day of you attend an appointment.
We would always recommend these services if you are travelling within the next 4 weeks. However, although for most people this is an option there are some limitations on these services., as follows:
• You cannot use the (Premium 1 Day Service) or (Fast-Track 1 Week Service) if you are applying for a first ever Adult Passport.
• You cannot use the (Premium 1 Day Service) if your Passport has been Lost or Stolen.
• You can use the (Premium 1 Day Service) if you would like to change or amend your name using a marriage/civil partnership certificate.
• You cannot use the (Premium 1 Day Service) for any other changes or amendments. Change of name due to Deed Poll.
Many people like to keep all their documentation up to date and correct, as many of us will often use our Passports for identification purposes as well as for travelling.
If you've recently moved and want to update your passport you do not need to renew your passport. It is not actually necessary to change your address on your passport. This is because unlike your Driving Licence; Passports are not linked to your address, but to you as an individual, so unless it's time to renew your passport we suggest that you do no renew until within 9 months of the renewal date.
In most cases you will only have to renew your passport due to it expiring or a recent name change.
Emergency contact details
On the inside cover at the back of your Passport you have an emergency contact details page. As your passport lasts up to 10 years it's more than likely that those details will change over time. If you need to update these details do not scribble or deface the back page. We suggest you simply draw a line through the previous details and either write the new details directly underneath or on a separate piece of paper. If you decide to use the paper option, do not attach this to passport simply leave this loose piece of paper in the back of your passport, as any kind of correction fluid, glue or items stuck to your Passport can sometimes cause very serious problems with border agencies as it can be classed as "tampering".
This is one of the biggest causes of delays in a passport application. The guidelines of passport photos are so strict, that the smallest of errors can lead to delays with your passport application.
Here are a few tips to get it right when it comes to your passport photos.
• You must be able to see your full face
• No hats or large head garments with the exception of religious headwear
• No thick framed glasses, No sunglasses (prescription glasses are allowed as long as there is no glare on the lenses)
• Only one person in the photo, this includes children's and babies photos (no third party hands or background items can be present)
• No smiling, silly faces or poses.
• The photo must be framed correctly, and in proportion.
There are so many restrictions to your passport photos, so if you are in any doubt please check out our guide to passport photos
Travelling within the UK and Ireland
If you are thinking of travelling to or from Ireland or travelling within the UK you do not need a passport. Travelling between these two places is known as the common travel area, also including in this area are The Channel Islands, The Isle of Man and The Isle of Wight.
Although you do not need a passport to travel between these areas all air and sea carriers do require some form of identification for travel purposes. Most commonly used are current valid driving licenses or a valid ID card. (The requirements can vary for different teavel operators so please contact them prior to your trip or ask when booking what ID they require).
Post Office Check and Send Service
The Post Office offers a Check & Send Service, this service was originally designed to save delays with the Passport Renewal Process, however an number of individuals have contacted us in the past to inform us of their bad experiences using this service. It is advisable to bear in mind that the Post Office staff simply use the same guidebook to validate your Passport Application that comes along with the Passport Form, this in some cases renders their services obsolete, as many consumers are sensible and aware enough to follow a simple guide book.
Some of the consumers we have spoken to also expected their Passports to arrive within 1 week of using the Post Office service, but please be aware that the Post Office service is NOT a Fast-Track. It is in-fact the same as if you were to put the envelope containing your application into a post box with a second class stamp, it will still take from 3-5 weeks for your application to be processed. Above all remember that if you feel competent enough to follow guidelines, then you should be able to fill out your Passport Application without the need for third party providers such as the Post Office.
The only services that have a guaranteed time frame are the Premium 1 Day and Fast-Track 1 Week Services, you can book these by phone or online here.
Overall we don't want you to fall short when renewing or applying for your passport. Ensuring you have filled out your application form correctly, your passport photos are within the many guidelines and you have all the sufficient supporting documents is something we feel very strongly about. If you think you need to use the urgent passport services or you need further guidance on getting your passport on time please feel free to contact us today