Urgent Passports & Extreme Circumstances

Thousands of people every year use the urgent passport services, these include the 1-week Fast-Track service and the 1-day Premium service, these services are designed to ensure you receive your passport in time for any travel plans you may have made or indeed for any emergency than may have arisen that requires you to travel abroad.

We are aware that sometimes circumstances can occur that are out of your control and this might mean that you are late for or miss your urgent passport appointment, if this happens to you, you should know what you can do to still try and get your passport on time and what to do next if you are trying to claim a refund. We have all the information regarding urgent passports and extreme circumstances, you can also find details on how to book an urgent passport appointment below.

Urgent passports

These services are recommended if you are travelling in 4 weeks or less or you require your new or renewed passport in a week or less, these services are not available for all passport applications, so please ensure you check below to make sure you are eligible to attend one of these appointments.

Please note:

You are unable to use either of these services if you are applying for a first-time adult passport. You will need to either apply by post by collecting an application form from one of the larger Post Offices or you can apply online.

1-week Fast-Track service

You can use this service if you want to apply for one of the following:

• Renew a standard adult 32-page passport
• Renew an adult 48-page passport
• Name change in a standard adult 32-page or 48-page passport - with marriage or civil partnership certificate
• Change a standard adult 32-page or 48-page passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport
• First child passport
• Renew or change a child passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child passport
• Renewal for a British national born on or before 2 September 1929

You cannot use this service if you want to apply for:

• First time adult passport

1-day Premium service

You can use this service if you want to apply for one of the following:

• Renew a standard adult 32-page passport
• Renew an adult 48-page passport
• Name change in a standard adult 32-page or 48-page passport - with marriage or civil partnership certificate
• Renewal for a British national born on or before 2 September 1929

You cannot use this service if you want to apply for:

• First time adult passport
• First child passport
• Change a standard adult 32-page or 48-page passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged adult passport
• Renew or change a child passport
• Replace a lost, stolen or damaged child passport

Be prepared

What did I need to bring to my appointment?

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.
With this in mind 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 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 loose 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.

How long is 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.

Can I make changes to my appointment once I've booked it?

You can make changes to your passport appointment by calling the Passport Office Adviceline any appointments requiring changes must contact The Passport Office 2 clear days prior to your appointment, this means if you book your appointment on a Thursday you have until close of office hours on the following Monday to make these changes.

If you are trying to make changes nearer to your appointment you will not be able to do so and you may need to rebook your appointment, however, this may result in you having to pay again for another appointment as the fee charged is for your passport application to be considered and not for your passport document.

To make changes to your urgent passport appointment:

Contact Number For Passport Office
Mon-Fri: 8:00-20:00
Sat-Sun: 9:00-17:30

What happens if I miss my appointment?

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 that The Passport Office are on they have little to no leeway in appointment times, so being late due to traffic or reasons within your control will not be tolerated and all passport fees are non-refundable.


If you are applying by post ensure you collect your paper application in advance from one of The Post Office's larger stores as smaller ones no longer carry the applications, always get 2 applications in case of mistakes or errors. Online applicants must ensure they allow plenty of time for their forms to be sent to them.

Check and recheck your details however you apply as 3 or mistakes will result in your application being rejected and always use black ink and capital letters. Make sure you have all of your supporting documents; this includes any birth certificates or marriage certificates you may need. These must be original documents; photocopies will not be accepted.

Planning ahead

With these strict guidelines on appointments it is vital that you plan your application, appointment and journey in advance, all of these things could lead to you missing your appointment and losing money, as well as missing any possible travel plans you may have made. Once you know which Passport Office you will be attending we advise that you use journey planners to get to your destinations. Whether you're travelling by train, car or bus knowing your route and journey time is very important to avoid missing your appointment.

There are many sites available that will give you accurate journey times such as Google Maps, National Rail Journey Planner or your local bus time tables which are available online.


Most Passport Offices will have parking onsite, however this is not always the case. You can enquire about parking when making your appointment, if there isn't parking onsite, we advise looking for parking prior to leaving as many cark parks will fill up quickly.

Websites are available to find parking in your area and many have features that allow you to pay online. If you are paying when you arrive remember to have change with you, some paying machine require you to phone and pay by card, if this is the case you may need to register your vehicle prior to paying.

Faster appointments and extreme circumstances

Very occasionally circumstances may arise in which you require your passport even quicker than you originally thought. If you have previously booked a 1-week Fast-Track appointment and you find yourself in extreme circumstances it may be possible to change your Fast-Track appointment into a 1-day Premium appointment.

These decisions are made on a case by case basis and there are no hard and fast rules when determining what constitutes as extreme circumstances. But what we can say is that medical, legal, and bereavement cases are more likely to be considered as extreme circumstances and therefore are more likely to be reviewed for changes and/or refunds.

Refunds and circumstances

As standard policy HM Passport Office has a strict no refund policy for any missed appointments, incorrect applications, missed travel plans or any other monetary looses due to circumstances resulting in your own misdoings or errors made on your part or on someone else's behalf. This means that the fees for passport applications made in the UK and overseas after 01/05/2008 are non-refundable in the event that the application is unsuccessful or withdrawn. It applies to all forms of passport applications: first time applications, renewals, replacements, child, adult, jumbo, collective, temporary or emergency and Restricted Validity Passports (RVP).

However, having said this if you find yourself in extreme circumstances you may be entitled to a full or partial refund. As we stated previously there are no set rules or list of exceptions for what may or may not be considered for a refund but, what we can say is there are certain circumstances that are more likely to be considered than others, these include:

• Medical reasons - if the applicant has been ill, had surgery or suffered a medical emergency, you will need proof of this by a doctor, nurse or medical professional.

• Legal reasons - if the applicant has been arrested, imprisoned or detained by the authorities.

• Bereavement - if the applicant has suffered a bereavement in their immediate family, this must include either a spouse or partner, parent, child or sibling.

Between 2007/08 HM Passport Office issued over 1.5 million worth of refunds and due to the large scale of refunds including those being fraudulently obtained by criminals, it was then decided to only issue a refund in extreme circumstances as there are still costs involved in the handling, processing and distribution of failed applications.

Other important facts

Postal and online applications

Many customers are not aware that your postal and online applications actually only last for 90 days. After these 90 days if you have not completed your application completely or sent the correct supporting documents your application will be cancelled, documents will be returned to you but you will not be entitled to a refund. This then means if you still require a passport you will need to reapply and pay the full costs again.

Countersigning your passport

If your passport application requires a countersignature this will need to be done before your appointment by someone who is authorised to do so. If you attend your passport appointment without this signature you will need to book another appointment and pay again for your passport application. Please check if you need a countersignature and who can countersign your passport in advance as delays will cost you your time and money.

When attending appointments please note:

There are a few things you should remember when attending your passport appointment. You need to arrive at least 10 mins before your appointment time, do not take any sharp item, prohibited items or weapons, only one person is allowed to attend the appointment so please do not bring friends or children to your appointment, if you are applying for a child the child does not need to attend the appointment, have all your supporting documents and passport photos to hand.

Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

Call Passport Advice Line

Lines open 9am-5:30pm

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