United Kingdom Passport FAQ

The passport serves as identification and proof of citizenship and gives you the right to travel internationally, so it’s fair to want to know all about your UK passport (if you have it already) or how to get one (if you don’t). Find out about the most frequently asked questions on the UK passport here.

British passport

Table of contents

Part 1: UK Passport Application

What documents do I need for a first-time passport application?

The documents you need depend on where and when you were born. In short, they are needed to establish citizenship and the right to a UK passport.

Born or adopted in the UK

On or after 1 January 1983

Before 1 January 1983

Full birth certificate or adoption certificate.

Born outside the UK

You were naturalised or have a certificate of registration

You are a citizen of British overseas territory and born before 1 January 1983

You were born before 1 January 1983, and your father was born in the UK

Born on or after 1 January 1983

How to apply for a British passport online?

To apply for a UK passport online, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Start your application on gov.uk;
  2. Fill out your details and upload your photo;
  3. Send the needed documents as instructed during your application;
  4. Pay for the application;
  5. Get someone to confirm your identity, if applicable;
  6. Track your application and retrieve the passport when it’s ready.

You can apply for a British passport online from anywhere worldwide, which is especially convenient if you need to renew it abroad.

See: British passport renewal in the U.S.

How to take a passport photo for an electronic passport application?

To get a digital photo for a passport application, you can:

One of the cheapest and time-saving ways to take one is to use a specialized passport photo editor. Just download your portrait taken in full-face to the tool below. Visafoto will instantly convert your picture into a compliant UK passport photo applicable both for electronic submission and for printing.

Related: United Kingdom passport photo

The UK passport photo requirements are described in detail here.

How to track my passport application?

The way you can track your passport application depends on how you applied. If you applied online with a digital photo, you could track it at this link. Applications done at a post office can be tracked here.

If you applied by a paper form, call the Passport Adviceline and have the 10-digit barcode number from your application form or 9-digit number on your receipt if you applied at the Post Office ready to be entered to check.

Who can confirm my identity for a passport application?

In some cases, you must confirm the passport applicant's identity. This person must:

The person must also work in or be retired from a recognised profession. Check the full list on gov.uk.

How much does the British passport cost?

The fee depends on the type (and age), as well as the way of applying.

Online application:

Paper form application:

How do you sign a UK passport?

For your passport to be valid for travel, its holder must sign it. You should sign your passport as soon as you get it. If your passport requires you to sign by hand (which means that it does not have a digital signature), then you must sign above the line on the noted field with a black ballpoint pen.

What to do with my old passport?

To protect yourself from identity fraud, you should either keep your expired passport in a safe place or send it to the passport office for it to be safely cancelled and/or destroyed. If you choose to dispose of your old passport, you must securely pack it in a large envelope. Attach a handwritten statement that you would like to dispose of the document. Send the envelope to the UK Passport Office via your local post office.

Part 2: UK Passport Use

Do I need to get a new British passport after Brexit?

Your burgundy British EU passport is still valid up until its expiration date, and there is no need to make a replacement before it expires.

How many countries can a UK passport holder travel to visa-free?

The UK is ranked the 6th strongest passport in the world. Citizens of the United Kingdom can travel to 183 countries, whether visa-free or with an e-visa or a visa-on-arrival.

Do I need a passport for Europe?

Yes, even before Brexit, it is used as proof of identity while travelling, and now after Brexit, it is also needed.

Do I need a passport for domestic flights?

If you travel within the UK (including Northern Ireland), usually no passport is required: a photo ID, such as a driving licence, is enough. But different airlines set different rules, so you better check them beforehand. For land travel, no passport is needed.

Do I need a passport for Ireland?

UK citizens can enter Ireland without a passport, provided they have another official photo ID. However, if you have a passport, it is better to take it with you as proof of nationality.

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