Tracking Your Passport Application
I am sure that many people have now experienced the agonising wait for your new passport to arrive, and there are still many thousands of people just starting this process for the first time.
Hopefully in this article you will find out ways to avoid long delays and most importantly how to track your passport application. This can often be a stressful time, with forms, appointments aswell as contending with such strict guidelines it's important to get things right, and when of course its good to know the status of your passport application once it's been received.
• Standard Service By Post
• Standard Service Online
• Urgent 1 Week Appointments
No matter which way you decide you want to apply for your new passport, most of the steps are the same.
You will always need to fill in the application form and ensure that it is complete and correct.
You will need two passport sized photos - one countersigned, taken within the last month which adheres to all of the photo guidelines. Please see the guidance booklet for further details.
You must also ensure all relevant supporting documents i.e. Birth/Marriage or Civil Partnership Certificates and any other documentation regarding name changes i.e. Deed Poll Confirmation that may be required. *Remember all documents must be originals (or copies from a Registry Office) as photocopies/scans will not be accepted.
Getting your application right first time is the first step in ensuring a fast and hassle free passport application.
First Time Applicants
If this is your first passport you will be asked to attend an interview at your local passport office. There are 7 main passport offices throughout the UK, but HM Passport Office also has many smaller offices located between these main offices, so most applicants should not have to travel more than 20-30 minutes when attending first time interviews.
The 8 main Passport Offices are located in:
When attending the main offices, you will need to pass through airport style security, so please no sharp objects, or pen-knives etc. You will also need to provide a reference number, that is given either when booking an appointment or this will be confirmed via letter or phone once your first time application is received.
If you are attending an interview and you have errors on your application you may be asked to make another appointment and complete another application. Some allowances are made for photos and most offices have photo booths on site.
If you are applying by post or online and you send off your application with errors, the passport office that has your application will send you an urgent letter listing the errors that you have made, you will be expected to complete a new application. The Passport Office will often keep hold of your supporting documents until it receives a fully completed and correct application, so do not be concerned if these documents are not returned with the new copy of the application form that you will be required to re-submit.
Any and all errors will only extend the waiting time for your passport, so please check and double check your applications before sending them off, if in doubt you can use the online checking service to ensure that you application is correct.
The importance of your reference number can never be stressed enough. This reference number is completely unique to you and your application and whether you are applying by post, online or your requiring an urgent passport application this is the key bit of information you will need to track your passport.
If you are attending an interview you will be given a reference number which you will need to provide before entering the building.
Your reference number for tracking purposes can be found at the top of your application near the barcode. You can then contact the passport office helpline for an update on your application.
Once your Passport application has been processed it will normally take about two weeks for it to be printed. Your new passport will be sent to you via secure courier and will not be sent via standard post. However any supporting documents you have sent to support your application will be sent back via 2nd class post.
Getting the application process right can be the difference between a stress free holiday and a holiday experience from hell, but, if you follow the guidebook that comes with your application form or use the online checking service, you should receive your new passport within 2-4 weeks of sending your application.
Need your passport urgently?
For those who want to avoid waiting longer than a week for your passport you can always use the 1 Week Fast-Track or the 1 Day Premium services that are available. More and more people are using these urgent services to save time, stress and hassle, these services are guaranteed so can often be the perfect piece of mind for may applicants looking to avoid the wait when renewing their passport.