All countries require you to present your passport to immigration officials when you enter through their borders. In the UK, you can renew your passport online through the UK Government’s website, but did you know you can also apply through the Post Office’s in-branch service? In this article, we will demystify the Post Office passport renewal process, making it easy to apply for your new passport.
Passport Check and Send – Post Office
The Post Office has thousands of branches throughout the United Kingdom, providing a myriad of posting, travel, insurance and identity services to the general public. These branches vary a lot in both their size and the different facilities they have available, which means that not all of them will be able to process passport applications. Luckily, the Post Office website will allow you to search under your hometown or your postcode to find the nearest Post Office branch that can help you with your application.
When applying for your new adult passport through the Post Office, you must provide some supporting documents. These may include:
- A birth certificate.
- Evidence of citizenship or naturalisation.
- Evidence that at least one parent has a claim to British nationality.
More will be needed if you are planning on applying for a passport on behalf of a child who is aged under 16. This can include:
- Legal orders relating to residency
- Any legal parental responsibility agreements
There are two main avenues for renewing your passport through the Post Office, which will be outlined below. It is important to remember that both of these will take time. The digital check and send service will take around 4 weeks to process, while the paper check and send service will take at least a week longer. so you should plan ahead if you need a passport soon – the UK Government recommends that you leave at least 10 weeks to allow your application to be processed.
Looking for more tips for your passport application? Look no further:
- British Passport Processing Time: A Guide to Getting Ahead of the Game
- UK Passport Renewal: Australia Guide
- How to Renew Your UK Passport in Canada?
- Children’s Passport Renewal – UK
- How To Replace a Passport That Has Been Lost, Stolen or Damaged
- How to Renew a British Passport in the U.S.
- How to Get an Emergency Passport
Post Office passport renewal – Digital Check and Send service
At some branches of the Post Office (the Post Office branch finder can tell you which ones), you can access a service where the staff prepare your digital application for you. The Post Office digital passport renewal service is the cheapest of the two, with no paper forms to fill out. All you’ll need to do is bring your old passport, your current personal email address, along with proof of any changes that will need to be flagged as part of the application. Taken step by step, the process runs as follows:
- First, you need to use the Post Office website’s search function to identify your nearest branch that offers the Digital Check and Send service.
- Go into the branch and ask at the counter for this service, handing in your old passport as well as proof of any changes.
- Using your old passport, Post Office employees will fill out your passport application, making sure to account for any changes you need to make.
- Once this is all sorted, the Post Office will take a biometric photo of you for your new passport, using the official guidelines of HM Passport Office to make sure that the end result is suitable. This will then be attached to your digital application.
- Once the application is complete, it is submitted, while your old passport is mailed to the Passport Office.
- The Passport Office will send regular updates on the processing status of your passport application, either through email or text.
- Once your application has been processed by the Passport Office, your new passport will be posted directly to you.
Post Office passport renewal – Paper Check and Send service
If you’d prefer to make a paper application, the Post Office can do that too! The Paper Check and Send Service allows you to complete a paper form and submit your own photos. This option is around 10% more expensive than applying using the Digital service and is a more time-consuming option, but if you would prefer to have more control over the application process, then this is perfect for you.
All you will need to do is complete an application form (available at participating branches of the Post Office) and bring it along with your existing passport and proof of any changes you need to make, with you to use the Check and Send service. The step by step process works like this:
- Take a passport application form from your local branch and complete it at home (or wherever is convenient).
- Take 2 (two) colour biometric photos (35 x 45mm) which will be used for your passport application. You can either take these standard photos yourself or in participating Post Office branches.
- Bring all of the necessary materials, including your biometric photos, to your local branch and hand them in to the counter, asking for the Paper Check and Send service. Your documents need to be original versions, photocopies will not be accepted. Make sure to bring a credit or debit card to pay the passport fee at the counter.
- Branch employees will examine your application thoroughly to ensure that it meets the standard regulations.
- Once Post Office employees have finished checking your application, your branch will submit it to the Passport Office by special delivery and, after the passport service verifies it, your passport will be mailed to you.
Post Office passport photo prices – UK
The two different Check and Send services have two different prices, as outlined below. Of the two, the Digital Check and Send is the cheapest.
Passport Check and Send – how long does it take?
The HM Passport Office guidelines state that you should allow up to 10 (ten) weeks for your passport application to be processed and your new passport delivered. At the time of writing, the estimated time for processing passport renewals to be processed was 4 (four) weeks, but this can change very quickly. In general, there will also be longer lead times on paper applications, owing to the extra time it takes for applications sent through the postal service to reach the passport authorities. If emergency travel becomes necessary, there are urgent passport renewal options that would be more practical.
Post Office with passport services for lost or stolen passports
In the event that your passport is lost or stolen, you will first need to report it to the Passport Office and, if stolen, the police. After this, you will be able to apply through the Post Office Check and Send service as usual, but the situation will require a couple of extra steps. As described above, you can either take a paper form and fill it out for the Paper Check and Send or ask for the Digital Check and Send service straight away. As you won’t have an old passport with which to confirm your identity, you will need to get a countersignatory to vouch for you. You will need to talk to your chosen countersignatory in advance, so they are aware of their role (For more information about who can sign a passport, click here). If you’re using a digital application, you need to provide their contact details, if you’re using a paper application, they need to sign the form themselves. After this, you can simply go to the Post Office, who will check and submit the application, and you’ll be done!
Post Office passport services: name changes
If an applicant needs to change their name with their passport renewal application, then the Post Office will be more than happy to oblige. As in cases of child passport renewal, applicants must bring several additional documents, depending on their situation. Here are some examples:
When changing a name by marriage or civil partnership on a passport, the Post Office requires:
- a marriage certificate
- a civil partnership certificate.
If reverting to an unmarried name or any other previous name on a passport, the Post Office will need:
- a document that confirms the name currently being used, for example, a tax record, employment record, driving licence or bank statement.
- a signed statement that shows the intention to use the previous name in all situations.
- a birth certificate.
- a marriage certificate that shows both of the names.
- where applicable, a decree absolute.
- evidence of all previous names (for example, from a marriage or civil partnership certificate, a deed poll, a gender recognition certificate or a certificate of naturalisation/registration).
- if there will be an urgent need to travel shortly after the wedding, the Post Office will also require a PD2 (post-dated) form that will allow for travel under the new name.
If changing the name listed on a child’s passport, the process will require:
- a statement signed by everyone with parental responsibility for the child, granting permission for their name to be changed.
- a court order that allows the name to change.
- a piece of evidence that confirms the name in current use.
- a piece of evidence that shows each name change that has taken place.
If changing the name listed on a passport after gender reassignment, the system requires:
- a gender recognition certificate or a birth certificate that has been re-registered.
- a letter from a doctor or medical consultant who oversaw the procedure.
- a piece of evidence that confirms the name in current use.
- a piece of evidence that shows each name change that has taken place.
If undertaking a name change on a passport for any other reason, a piece of evidence confirming the name in use and a piece of evidence showing all name changes should suffice.
Give these documents to the Post Office when using the Check and Send service, and they will be included with the passport application package when they send it to the Passport Office.
The perfect photo for your Post Office digital passport renewal
No matter which option you use to renew your passport, it’s going to need a UK passport photo. A photo for your UK passport could be taken in a high street photo booth, in a studio or even at some branches of the Post Office. However, the simplest way to get your passport photo is to upload your picture to the Passport Photo Online website or mobile app, so we can get it ready for you. Look at the advantages:
- There’s a lot of flexibility. Passport Photo Online’s AI photo editor is not only quick and easy to use, you can use it from anywhere there is internet, even in your own living room. All you need is a phone, with our app downloaded onto it, and you’re ready to go!
- Savings. Our service costs up to 54% less than using a photo booth, particularly helpful if you need passports for more than one person.
- You will always be satisfied. We allow you to take multiple attempts at your passport photo for free, uploading as many as you need, while only paying for the photo you ultimately choose to attach to your passport application. This way, you’ll always walk away with a photo you’ll be happy to have in your renewed passport – no one likes having a bad passport photo!
- Professional validation. Our AI photo checker scans each photo you upload and checks them against the official photo requirements, resizing them and removing the background to make sure you get the perfect shot. If your photo fails our checks, one of our human inspectors will examine it manually and provide advice or make necessary changes. This way, you can be confident that your photo follows the rules, which will save yourself having to redo the application all over again.
- Guaranteed acceptance. If a photo we checked for you is rejected by the HM Passport Office, we will refund you for 200% of what you paid us.
Getting your new passport ready can be a bit of a challenge, but using the Post Office massively simplifies the process, no matter which Check and Send option you decide to use. With your passport photo, prepared by Passport Photo Online and verified by the Post Office, your application will be complete. With your fresh passport in hand, you can start planning your trips abroad.
Post Office digital passport renewal: FAQs
It’s easy to apply for a new passport through the Post Office, particularly when you lay it all out like this. Still, in case you still have any queries regarding the process, we’re more than happy to answer some frequently asked questions.
Can I renew my passport at the Post Office?
Using the Post Office passport service, you can quickly and easily renew your passport with confidence. All you have to do is get a passport application form from a Post Office branch that offers them, fill it out at home and bring it, along with any supporting documents and a compliant passport photo reel, and the Post Office check and send service will do the rest for you!
What do I need to bring to the post office for my passport?
You will always need to bring your outgoing passport and any documents needed to prove a change in your situation, for example, a marriage certificate. You will also need to provide a home address and contact details, usually a phone number or email address. If your passport is lost or stolen, you’ll need to provide details of a countersignatory to prove your identity. If you are applying for a child passport, you will also need a countersignatory, along with documentation that proves your relationship with the child.
Does the post office charge a fee for a passport?
Yes, in both Check and Send services, the Post Office charges a £16 fee for processing your application. This comes on top of the standard passport fees levied by the Passport Office.
How much will a passport cost at the post office?
Including the Post Office’s processing fees, the Digital Check and Send service costs £91.50, while the Paper Check and Send service costs £101.
Can the post office confirm my identity?
Yes, your old passport will allow them to confirm your identity, or failing that, a countersignatory will.
What documentation will the post office need to confirm your identity?
If you aren’t using a countersignatory, all you need to prove your identity is your old passport. If your passport has been lost or stolen, the countersignatory will vouch for your identity.
Is it faster to renew your passport online or through the post?
In general, the lead time on the postal applications means they take longer than digital applications.
Where do I get a passport application form?
These forms can be acquired in-branch, with all post offices that accommodate passport applications carrying the forms.
Can you go to the post office to get a passport?
Yes, you can! The Post Office is well-informed on the steps you need to take. They are well-placed to process your application.
Can you download a UK passport renewal form?
No, physical application forms need to be picked up from the Post Office, or by phone through the Passport Adviceline. You can, however, apply through the UK Government’s online portal.
Do UK post offices take passport photos?
Yes, they can, but it can be time-consuming to do so and not all branches provide this service. Using a paper application, along with the Passport Photo Online website, you can easily prepare your photos yourself, without the need to deal with the hassle of doing it in person.
Is it possible to find a Post Office branch with a passport photo booth?
Yes, it is possible to find photo booths in Post Office branches, but not all. It’s worth ringing ahead to your local branch to check which services they can offer. Applicants can use these booths as part of the Check and Send service if they wish, or they can supply their own passport photo.
Passport application Check and Send – summing up
Renewing your passport can be a bit of a challenge, but applying through the Post Office massively simplifies the process, regardless of which Check and Send option you decide to use. With your new passport photo, prepared and checked by Passport Photo Online and verified by the Post Office, your application will be complete, and the Post Office’s special delivery service means it will reach the passport authorities in no time, so your new passport can be prepared. With your fresh passport delivered, you can start planning your next trips abroad.
-  https://www.gov.uk/how-the-post-office-check-and-send-service-works
-  https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/passport
Karolina Turowska, a biometric photography expert and travel enthusiast at Passport-Photo.Online. When it comes to writing, she loves bringing dry facts to life. When it comes to traveling, she just loves bikes.