A passport is not only essential when travelling anywhere by air (even within Great
Britain) and of course when travelling by any means outside of GB but it is one
of the few government issued photo identification documents that serves as proof
of identity so having one is very useful when it comes to doing other things in
the system like opening a bank account. It can be a little daunting applying for
the first time however if you follow our simple steps you should have your first
passport in no time.
Anyone over the age of 16 applying for a UK passport for the first time must attend
an interview with the IPS (Identity and Passport service) to confirm your identity.
The fee for your passport is currently £77.50. If you choose to use the post office’s
check and send service this costs an additional £8.75.
You must be a British Citizen to apply for a passport. This means you were born
in the UK or if you were born outside the UK, one of your parents is a British citizen.
You can find out more about others who may qualify for British Citizenship at the
Home Office UK Border Agency website.
When applying for your first adult British passport plan to apply at least six weeks
before you wish to travel as you cannot use the Fast Track one week or Premium one
day services. These quicker options are only available for Adult passport renewals.
If you have already held a British passport as a child you will not require an interview.
This type of application is classed as a renewal.
The passport advice line is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and between 9am-5.30pm
on weekends and bank holidays. 0300 222 0000
You can complete the
form online and then the IPS will send it to you to sign and
return with supporting documents.
You can collect a form that offers the
check and send service from the Post Office.
You can request a form online or call 0300 2220000 and request a form to be sent
The form comes with a detailed guidance booklet explaining how to complete it. The
post office check and send service is a great failsafe as they will ensure you have
done everything correctly before sending it off by internal courier. (costs £8.75
extra but well worth it for your peace of mind)
The key things to remember are:
You must supply two passport photos, one of which must be countersigned by the same
person that countersigns your application. This must be someone “of good standing”
in your community, not someone related to you, in a personal relationship with you
or someone who works for the IPS. The purpose is to have another person verify you
are who you say you are. Choose a professional person like a teacher, doctor. Someone
with a professional qualification or connected to the government like a fireman,
social worker, someone in the armed forces or police officer as it is easier to
verify who they are.
You can find out more by visiting the Direct.gov.uk website.
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