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Passport Renewal: Apply Online & By Post

The passport industry in the UK is a multi-million pound enterprise with well over half a million passports issued and renewed every year. With nearly 10,000 UK passports being lost or stolen and many more needing to be renewed every year the passport application process is, and has in recent years become one of the most tightly regulated processes in the world.

With all of these rules and regulations applying or renewing your passport can be a daunting and confusing experience. With an extensive detailed application form and a 26 page guide book, supporting documents, errors and delays, the question is; where do you start?

The Application

Renewing your old expired passport or changing from a child to an adult passport will first start with your application. As well as fully and correctly completing your application, which is a mammoth task in itself, you also have to contend with passport photos, countersignatures, supporting documents and all the stress and wondering if you have done it all correctly.

All applications come with full guideline booklet which should help you to complete the application form without any errors.

The problem that we are seeing more and more often from our customers is that due to the increased security measures they are finding it harder than ever to understand the guideline booklet and outs of the application process.

So how should you apply Online or By Post? Our guide will help you decide:


A quick is easy way of completely your application is doing it online. This fast and reliable method is quickly becoming peoples preferred choice for their passport application. It reduces human error, the stress of trying to figure it all out and the uncertainty in the application process.

Urgent Services
If you are renewing your passport and don't want to wait 3-5 weeks you can book an urgent appointment these include the 1 Week Fast-Track and the 1 Day Premium Services. Which if you are travelling in the next 4 weeks we highly recommend due to the fact that these operate on a guaranteed timescale. As well as these services applying online is much faster and accumulates far fewer errors on applications than postal applications.

Standard Service
Completing your application form online can eliminate many errors caused by human error i.e. missing boxes, not knowing what parts to fill out, wrong or missing documents. The online services are specifically designed solely dedicated to passport applications and are aimed at insuring all applications are complete and correct before sending. By selecting the type of passport you require it will prompt you as to what information is required and what documentation you will also need, it is then as easy as printing it off, signing your form and sending it off with any supporting documents.

The passport industry is moving online at a rapid pace and like many things applications are slowly moving away from the postal service, and are relying more and more on technology and online services to streamline and speed up any services they provide.

By Post

As we have already mentioned, the application process can be very complicated and completing and returning your application by post can only make things even more stressful, however this service is still offered for those who are not yet confident to do so online.

Once you have collected an application form your local Post Office you will need to go through the form and the guideline booklet to see what parts you will need to fill in and what supporting documents you will need to send off with your application.

When you have completed the application and got your passport photos and documents together many people simply pop them in the post and wait.

If you are unsure if you have completed your application correctly or are looking for reassurance regarding you application then the next step might be to use The Post Offices Check and Send service.

This service is available for a fee at all major Post Offices and is widely seen as a "guarantee" or as "peace of mind". Of course, having a second person look over your application and details with a fresh set of eyes is always a good idea. However The Post Office Check and Send service simply use the same guideline booklet that is in with your application. The Post Office offers a wide range of services and is not specifically for passport applications. We also have an article outlining the pros and cons of using the Post Office Check & Send Service.

Please not however that the timescales for the postal service can often be 3-4 weeks for passport renewals and up to 5-6 weeks for first time passport applications, if you require your passport urgently you may wish to use one of the other services mentioned above.

In Summary

We don't want people to have to worry about their application when they could be looking forward to planning their next travel adventure. We also understand that the process and requirements are changing all the time and it can be hard to keep up to date with all these changes. It's our job to stay at the forefront of any and all changes and to pass on our knowledge and experience to our customers to make your passport application process seamless and hassle free.

If your looking to apply or renew your UK Passport online or are looking for advice and guidance on you application be sure to view The Passport Office Blog for more helpful guidance on many passport topics.

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