Post Office Check & Send is not a Fast-Track
The Post Office offers many services to its customers and is also a great way to get hold of the forms and information you need when applying for Passports, Driving Licences and Travel Information. However in recent years they have fallen victim to the modern world, due to advances in communication and technology making life easier for many of us, with many government services now available on-line.
You are now able to apply on-line or download forms for most government services with a few clicks of the mouse, making it much more convenient and faster than it use to be.
One of the most popular services offered by The Post Office is the Check & Send Service in regards to British Passport Applications; however there are a few important things that most of us don't know in regards to the Check & Send service that is worth thinking about before visiting your local Post Office
1) The Check & Send Service is not a Fast-Track Service
Contrary to popular belief the term "Check & Send" is very often confused with the term "Fast-Track" when people think to apply or renew their Passport. When using the Post Office Check & Send service it is important to bear in mind that is it no different than filling in the form and posting it yourself via a post box, in real terms it will still take 3-4 weeks to process and in some cases if your application is for a first time passport this can sometimes take 4-5 weeks to process.
In definition the Check & Send service is just that, they will check your application form for errors and omissions but will simply send it via 2nd Class Post once the service is provided, so please bear this in mind when using this service.
If you would like to however book a Fast-Track Service which guarantees your Passport within 2 weeks, you can Book Online or by calling 0300 222 000.
2) The Post Office Staff are not trained by HM Passport Office
Staff that work at the Post Office all under go a degree of training regarding the services on offer, but please bear in mind that they are not trained specifically by HM Passport Office for Check & Send Services, and are simply informed as to what to look out for by other Post Office staff or will often refer to the guidebook which is included along with every Passport Application Form.
This could lead to mistakes and delays with your Passport Application, due to the fact that HM Passport Office will regularly update forms or make changes to the application process which will often leave Post Office staff unaware of these changes and subsequent problems that may arise if information or documents are not provided correctly.
One example of this is recent years was the changes to counter-signatories that disallowed the use of your own Medical Doctor or (GP) to sign a Passport Application on your behalf. The new rules stated that Medical Professionals could still countersign your application, but only in the capacity of a friend of colleague. Since this time we have received many enquiries from consumers that had used The Check & Send Service, who had subsequently been told that the signature from their GP was allowed, due to this the consumers we had spoken to had experienced delays with their applications due to misinformation.
3) You are only able to obtain Passport Applications from larger city Post Offices
Many customer assume that you can obtain a Passport Renewal form from any UK Post Office, unfortunately this is not the case. Smaller Post Office branches outside of large towns and cities do not stock Passport Application Forms, this is due to the fact that many of them will often be privately owned or operated by third parties.
If you are having trouble locating a larger Post Office branch or if you simply live in a more rural area and do not have direct access to one, you can still apply for your Passport Renewal Online. Please note however that when applying online you will need the ability to print off the forms provided in order to post them with your supporting documents.
We hope that this article has answered some important aspects regarding the Post Office Check & Send Service that many consumers are unaware of. Our advice regarding their service is to only apply via the Post Office if you are not travelling within 5 weeks and that you feel assured that the staff member dealing with your application is competent enough to know key information regarding the most up-to date Passport Application Process.
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