What Documents Do I Need for a Passport?

Documents needed to apply for a UK passport
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Applying for a passport requires submitting the necessary supporting documents. First and foremost, they must be original documents or official copies in English or Welsh. You cannot submit photocopies or documents in a foreign language.

So, what documents do you need, exactly? That varies depending on your circumstances and place of birth.

Dive into our guide to know precisely what you must prepare for your UK passport application. Here’s what we’ll cover:

Apart from all those documents, you must also provide a compliant British passport photo with your application. Prepare one in 3 minutes with Passport Photo Online—just snap a picture with your smartphone, and we’ll take care of the rest!

A picture converted into a government-compliant passport photo in 3 seconds using Passport Photo Online mobile app.

Explore other helpful articles discussing British passport issues:

Without further ado, let’s review what documents you will need for your passport application.

First-time passport applications and supporting documents

This paragraph discusses the documents necessary for an adult passport application. First-time passport documents for children will be covered later on in the guide.

First-time passport applications always require the most paperwork. Moreover, according to the HM Passport Office’s rules, you must also submit different documents depending on your birthplace (whether it was in the UK or abroad).

Below, you can find the necessary documents you must prepare for your first British passport depending on two scenarios.

Applicants born or adopted within the UK

Pay attention to your date of birth or adoption—different documents are required for different time frames. Check out the table below to see which documents you should prepare.

Born or adopted in the UK before January 1, 1983Born or adopted in the UK after January 1, 1983
• A full birth certificate OR
• An adoption certificate
• A full birth certificate OR an adoption certificate
• One of your parent’s birth certificates, OR a certificate of registration or naturalisation, OR a British passport or a passport number
• The evidence of your parents’ immigration status in the UK at the time of your birth

To sum up—

Applicants born or adopted before January 1, 1983, must provide only one document: either their full birth certificates or adoption documents.

Applicants born or adopted after January 1, 1983, must provide the three documents from the list above.

Note: If you provide your father’s documents, you must also add your parents’ marriage certificate.

Applicants born or adopted abroad

Applicants born or adopted outside of the UK must submit their supporting documents as per their family situation and/or citizenship status. Here’s the list of possible scenarios and the documents that must be provided in each case:

ScenarioSupporting documents
Applicants with a naturalisation or registration certificate.• A naturalisation/registration certificate
• Your foreign passport
Applicants with a naturalisation or registration certificate.• A birth certificate 
• Your current passport
• Your foreign passport
Applicants born before January 1, 1983, whose father was born in the UK.• A full birth certificate
• Your father’s birth certificate
• Your parents’ marriage certificate
• Your foreign passport
Applicants born on or after January 1, 1983.• A full birth certificate
• Your foreign passport
• The evidence of your parents’ British nationality

Note: If you provide your father’s documents, you must also add your parents’ marriage certificate showing their wedding date.

Important: If your situation includes any other circumstances (e.g., name change in your birth certificate, marriage, divorce, etc.), you must provide additional documents supporting this information.

Supporting documents for a child’s passport

Reminder: Until your child is 16, a new passport application must be submitted each time their passport expires as only adult British passports are eligible for renewals—we’ll discuss the necessary documents for that process in the following paragraph.

Remember that when applying for your child’s first passport, you must find someone who can confirm their identity.

Here’s a list of documents parents must prepare for their baby’s first passport:

  • A full birth certificate or an adoption certificate
  • Proof of your child’s British nationality
  • Any valid foreign passport, if applicable
  • Any relevant court orders, e.g., parental responsibility

Note: Children aged 12–15 must sign their passport form themselves.

The list includes documents necessary for first-time passports only. For subsequent passports, the child’s old passport must be provided along with any relevant documents (if a change of personal details has occurred). For children under 12, every new passport requires identity confirmation by a third party.

Important: If the passport office cannot recognise your child from the old passport photo, you must provide a countersignatory. See who can sign your baby’s British passport photo.

Supporting documents required for a passport renewal

Renewing your passport requires the least paperwork. The only document that’s universally required is your old passport. Other than that, any further documentation depends on your current situation, e.g., if you’ve changed your appearance drastically, got married or divorced.

Important: If you’ve lost your passport or it got stolen, someone must confirm your identity when applying for a replacement passport.

Most importantly, don’t forget to support your passport application with a compliant passport photo. Passport Photo Online is here to help you achieve the perfect result—be it prints or a digital photo!

A picture converted into a government-compliant passport photo in 3 seconds using Passport Photo Online mobile app.


What documents are needed to get a passport?

The required documents for a British passport depend on your individual circumstances. Go through our section entitled “First-time passport applications and supporting documents,” then check which scenario best describes your situation for a list of mandatory documents.

Do I need my parents’ birth certificate to get a passport?

Yes, in some circumstances, you must provide your parents’ birth certificates to get a British passport. Such situations include being born or adopted in the UK after January 1, 1983, OR being born or adopted before January 1, 1983, with your father born in the UK.

What documents do I need for a passport renewal?

For a standard passport renewal, you only need to provide your previous passport. If some crucial information has changed, you must also provide relevant documents to support said changes. In the case of a lost/stolen passport, please remember that a third party must confirm your identity.


And there you have it—all the information you’ll need in order to prepare the necessary documents for your passport application. As you can see, what documents you need will largely depend on your specific situation.

We hope that this guide has helped you, and we implore you to always consult the official government website for the most up-to-date information. We hope you have fun on your next trip!

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