View Full Version : Passport Renewal

7th Jan 2015, 13:43
I need to renew my adult red UK passport.

I used to pop into the British Embassy in Helsinki with the bits and pieces, pay the fee, and in time I would collect the new passport from them.

I kept my UK passport and when I collected the new one they cut the corner off it and cancelled it.

Not any longer.

I have to apply online - no problem except I have to send the current passport with the application form.

This seems a retrograde step.

What do other ppruners do, who reside abroad, and how can I travel, if I need to, in the intervening time (they say it may take up to 12 weeks to get it returned)?

7th Jan 2015, 13:47
What do other ppruners do, who reside abroad, and how can I travel, if I need to, in the intervening time (they say it may take up to 12 weeks to get it returned)?

I think I had to send mine to Washington, last time, and I didn't have to wait long for the new one. I believe it has to go to the UK now, and thanks to good, old-fashioned British efficiency, it takes several months.

If I have to travel in the meantime, I use the Canadian one :).

7th Jan 2015, 13:59
The very best and safest way is to make a reservation at the Passport Office in Victoria for the five hour service. Fly to London, paperwork in the morning, collect in the afternoon.

I will never again use the Madrid embassy after it turned out that a member of their clerical staff was copying valid passports and selling them. Result: being arrested and detained for six hours at Stansted airport on arrival for being in possession of a stolen passport. It wasn't but had the same number as three other ones, which were.

7th Jan 2015, 14:22
Do the online thing, fill in the boxes, DON"T exceed the dimensions of the signature box and send it off.
It'll be back a lot quicker than the doomsayers predict.
I did this last June (from California to Durham UK) when everybody was complaining of the huge backlog, summer hols coming up, etc.
My passport had expired and the whole process was exceedingly quick.

7th Jan 2015, 15:22
Straightforward renewal of a full 48 page passport took 10 weeks in the Liverpool Passport Office.
The telephone query service is useless - just a call centre in Newport.
I would never do it again. Go back to UK, and do it in one day.

7th Jan 2015, 15:50
Applied on-line for my new passport last Feb, sent my old one and photos and after 3 weeks used the on-line check system to see how it was progressing. Had a reply to say they had no knowledge of receiving my old passport and 2 days later my new passport was delivered by courier. 3.5 weeks and now think that in 10 years the system will have changed again so am grateful and happy.

7th Jan 2015, 18:01
I lost my previous Passport in 2013 and managed to get it replaced in two weeks via Liverpool. I added a covering letter explaining that I travelled a lot and needed quick service which seemed to work. The biggest challenge was persuading the DHL courier office to release the new one without a national ID card or passport - fortunately I was armed with photocopies of the old passport and all the official looking paperwork I could find.

7th Jan 2015, 18:16
My wife is in the process of renewing hers at the moment. On the declaration form done on-line it says. You can under certain conditions send in the declaration with out the existing passport. You have to give a letter of explanation and include colour photocopies of the current passport and you may have to send in the passport at a later date. BTW my wife's passport has been renewed in less than 2 weeks including bank holidays.


7th Jan 2015, 18:22
The service is not as bad as many say, and I had lunch last week with a friend who did the online service and sent it all off from Portugal and had it back within 10 days.

I am paranoid about being without my passport (when I had two it was fine), and my last renewals have been using the Premium service at Peteborough or Durham. It costs about 40 extra and last time I handed in the old passport and forms at 0900 and had the new one by 1300.

7th Jan 2015, 18:24

Did your wife do this/that?i

I did not notice that on the form but maybe that is the line to take - it doesn't expire until March and it is quite necessary sometimes in Finland.

I will adopt that practice as I wanted to use it in the intervening time.

It quite amuses me that my wife's relations, and my wife, can visit the UK on an identity document but I, a UK citizen, can't get in without a valid passport.

8th Jan 2015, 05:18
The Wife has just done hers online. Had to send her, still valid but soon to be out of date, passport to Liverpool along with the relevant form from the online site.
She would have liked to have visited U.K. for the day to do it personally,as others have done, but 26 hours each way down the back would prove to be a trip too far I'm afraid.

8th Jan 2015, 09:28
My wife sent in her old passport as we do not require the passport until at the moment July. Again it has been done early because of last years problems. It was just I noted the exception to sending in the passport. This I should imagine has been set up for the likes of Aircrew etc who have a need to carry passports at all time and for those who also live abroad as well.


8th Jan 2015, 09:31
In New Zealand.

Completed the Online Application, paid the money, sent the printed from from the Online stuff off to Liverpool with my old passport, didn't even have to have my photograph certified by a "suitable person" as the new one was "close enough to the one in the old passport" - or words to that effect

Got the new passport back in less time that it normally takes me to just send a letter to UK, something like 8 days, and the old passport came back a few days later. Judging by normal postal service I reckon Liverpool received, processed it and sent it back the day they got it, nothing else would have fit the timescale.

Mind-boggling easy and quick, I had been prepared for months of drama.

Not so.

By comparison - in 1999 had my passport stolen out of my locked car at a London Pub, window smashed, briefcase stolen. Spent the next 3 days just trying to get through to the passport office to report it, and ask how to replace it. Never did. Told the Police that a stolen passport might now be used for some sort of crime and they couldn't have been less interested, didn't even want my name.

Fortunately the briefcase was recovered along with the passport - but minus a few more valuable items, and some cash. Problem solved in time to keep my airline booking to leave the UK.

8th Jan 2015, 09:32
Wife sent hers to the British Embassy in Paris, after they closed their Swiss consulates. She prepaid a FedEx (or whatever) envelope and had hers back in just over a week. As CH is surrounded by Schengen any sort of picture ID is OK for crossing land borders.

The embassy in Berne (not UK) dealt with my renewal, took 4 business days post to post.

8th Jan 2015, 09:34
ExSP in a way you were lucky. Once a passport has been reported as lost or stolen it is almost impossible to reverse it. You would have had to get a new one anyway.

8th Jan 2015, 09:37
From Brazil mine had to be sent to Washington by registered post, although I believe it was actually printed in the UK. It took about three weeks, and because of local laws I only sent a copy of two pages from my old passport. That requirement differs from country to country but was explained in simple terms during the online application.

When I first saw the new process I thought that it was an opportunity for a screw-up, but, in my case it worked very well.


Yamagata ken
8th Jan 2015, 11:45
It's a nightmare for me. I've held a UK passport since about 1966, but I had the temerity to be born in Australia. Previously, I've always been able to renew my passport in the country where I was living.

To renew my passport last year, I needed copies of my father's birth certificate (b1907) and my parent's marriage certificate (m1936). No online application for me. Getting copies of this stuff was a royal pain. There was one question on the application which was so badly worded it couldn't be answered. The British Embassy in Japan was no use whatsoever. Everything: old passport, my original birth certificate etc. etc. had to be sent to Hong Kong for processing. I got my documents back after about three weeks, and the passport arrived after six weeks. Not impressed and definitely not happy.

8th Jan 2015, 15:07
But you live in a beautiful part of Japan, apart from an occasional huge distaster or so.

8th Jan 2015, 17:27
For about 10 years before retirement I always had two Passports due to lotsa travelling. One held in the office to apply for visas if necessary while I was travelling on tother one. When I recently had to renew as both were expiring I had to send the paperwork and Passport to Madrid who forwarded it to London for processing. One week from posting to receipt of new one. Worst thing is cost which came to 180 which is a tad expensive.

8th Jan 2015, 18:32
In the late 90s I had to renew my passport in China. I sent off all the neccessary by post with a very careful written return envelope. It worked fine and in a week or so I had a new passport issued by the British Embassy at Peking. (?????)

I did a couple of rotations back and forth to the UK then on departing China I was held and then arrested in Departures. Not noticed by me or anybody else the number on the front page and the mug shot page were different. Not a lot but enough for it to be suspected as a forgery. It had not been picked up before because who looks at the front page.

They let me telephone the company and assistance was launched. One of the party was the company Party Member and as such was in the Party Secretariat. When he walked in and flashed his Party ID all the Frontier Guards stood to attention.

The slight error on my passport was waved away and I was released. I didn't mention it going through Hong Kong and it wasn't picked up at Heathrow.

Back home I sent it off to Glasgow with a letter explaining what had happened. Next morning an apologetic telephone call from the Passport Office and on the day after the new and the old one arrived.

There was a bit of a worry because I had my visa in the duff passport but it held out until my visa was renewed and went into the new one.

8th Jan 2015, 21:17
ExSP in a way you were lucky. Once a passport has been reported as lost or stolen it is almost impossible to reverse it. You would have had to get a new one anyway. !!!! Thanks, Not A Lot Of People Know That !! I'll bear it in mind next time.

I also wrote my passport number on the outside back cover of my old one, with a silver felt-tipped pen, to avoid having to open it and find the right page each time I have to fill in a Customs or Imm. form on the aircraft, or departure.

Arriving in Singapore last year I was almost refused entry because I presented a "defaced" passport. Not A Lot Of People Know That !! (apologies to Micheal Caine)

8th Jan 2015, 23:21
My easiest passport renewal was when I was stationed at RAF Nicosia in the summer of 1974. With no appointment I visited the British High Commission in Nicosia town and a new passport was issued over the counter. I then asked about my exisiting USA visa and was directed to the American Embassy a few doors down the road where my new passport was appropriately stamped. The whole process took less than an hour, and free of charge to HM Forces!

9th Jan 2015, 01:02
I agree with OFSO. That's what I did last time in 2013. Reservations at the passport office in Victoria can be made up to 21 days in advance. Dropped the old one off at 10.30ish.... long lunch with my son and picked it up later. Job done.

9th Jan 2015, 02:32
The very best and safest way is to make a reservation at the Passport Office in Victoria for the five hour service. Fly to London, paperwork in the morning, collect in the afternoon.

Bit difficult - and expensive - from 12,000 miles away, so I'm glad the Online postal service worked as well as it did. Watch this space in 10 years time and I'll tell you how I got on then ( will also qualify for an Old Age Persons passport at a fraction of the cost, I hope ! Thought I would this time, but they've moved the goalposts.)

9th Jan 2015, 05:04
The very best and safest way is to make a reservation at the Passport Office in Victoria for the five hour service. Fly to London, paperwork in the morning, collect in the afternoon.

Yes Yes Yes.

I work as a travelling salesman (travelling in the Gulf) and I cannot afford to be stuck in Bahrain for up to 6 weeks waiting an my new passport to arrive so I go to London.

BTW The French can go to their embassy, apply and keep their original passport, then within a week they go and exchange old for new. Why are we allowing the French to be better than us :(

9th Jan 2015, 06:11
You don't want to try and do it here in Thailand either.

You have to make an appointment and physically travel to Bangkok to submit the papers to an agency there.

You are then permitted to keep your old one (illegal to be unable to produce your passport/visa details here) , to enable you to travel back to your home.

The passport will then be sent back to the agency and yes, you are expected to travel to Bangkok again to collect it although if you wish you can nominate someone to collect it on your behalf.

The good news?

From 7 April 2014 the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport overseas will be reduced by 45 for adults and 28.50 for children.

Unfortunately for almost anyone not living in the capital the 45 quid saving is totally annihilated by the cost of having to travel to BKK just for the compulsory personal submission.

9th Jan 2015, 11:57
free of charge to HM Forces!

The RAF got me my 1st Passport, free and without me having a Birth Certificate, it got lost during WWII and I'd never needed to get a copy. I even enlisted in the RAF without proving I'd been born :O I'd served 8 years, including a year in France and 6 weeks at Luqa, before a detachment to Karachi made a passport necessary.

This 1st passport was only valid for 6 month, and was renewed when I produced a Birth Cert.

13th Feb 2015, 12:32
To update.

Posted old passport on 20 Jan and today, 13 Feb, received new passport.

26th Jun 2015, 15:52
Fedexed mine from the USA to Durham overseas passport office on June 17th 2015 and received back in USA on June 29th 2015 by DHL

Impressed am I!

Must be those efficient Geordies up there in Durham!

26th Jun 2015, 18:38
Just tried to renew my wife's and my Brit passports. Hers through marriage to me, mine through birth. Hers arrived within 10 days. I have now to jump through hoops to prove my right to a passport. I have had issues with renewing passports or entering " mud island" for as long as I can remember. The Poms seem to take ex Rhodesians and rebellion very seriously. I think I will wear a turban and change my name to Naidoo or Mohamed. Otherwise my wife is thrilled with her new passport.

26th Jun 2015, 19:16
Looking at the renewal page today, it now says that Dual Nationals don't need to send both passports any more - when did that change?! Sure it makes it easier, now.

27th Jun 2015, 02:17
Its a PITA now it is all online. Especially trying to get a childs first time passport when you are living overseas!

Lon More
27th Jun 2015, 11:01
Renewed mine on-line last month; took 5 weeks.
The surcharge for courier delivery is a rip-off. Mine came in the mail as recorded delivery - in two envelopes; one for the old and one for the new.
At least i could move around Schengen with just my ID card

27th Jun 2015, 13:08
God Daughter had a baby three weeks ago, and is going on holiday in late July. To avoid not having the baby's passport she booked an appointment at the passport office and was given a code to use if the passport hadn't arrived by holiday time but reassured that the passport should turn up in about three weeks.
Two days later the passport arrived!!