The days of spending great swathes of time at the Post Office trying to renew a passport, armed with myriad paper forms and multiple photo booth snaps – that are still inexplicably “unsuitable” – may finally be over.
The government has launched an online passport renewal service which reportedly takes just 10 minutes to complete.
Having been piloted with 240,000 people last year by the HM Passport Office, the process is now ready to roll out gradually across the UK.
UK citizens can say goodbye to the awkward photo booth sessions too, as applicants will be able to upload a digital photo from their smartphone or tablet instead.
Once the online application is complete, it will still take around three weeks for it to be processed and a new passport sent back.
The new process is only suitable for straightforward passport renewals.
Those who are applying for a first passport, have lost their passport or had it stolen, or are making changes to their name can’t do so online.
Immigration minister Robert Goodwill said: “This latest offering is a key part of the Home Office’s drive to transform the way we deliver our services through digitisation.
“It is designed to improve efficiency and convenience by providing a modern and secure service to millions of passport holders and applicants.”
To use the online service, applicants must live in the UK, be 26 or older, not hold dual-nationality and be in possession of a current passport, which cannot have expired before 2012.
This comes after Express.co.uk reported that many people aren’t aware of a rule that could make their UK passport invalid when it comes to Travelling the world.
As an official document, a passport has strict regulations to conform to in terms of quality.
If it is damaged in any way, the holder can be stopped at the border and prevented from leaving the country.
Even if the passport owner is allowed onto the plane, train or other mode of transport, there is no guarantee they will be allowed entry to another country when they reach their destination.
Border security agents can deny entry to anyone whose passport is deemed “damaged”.
According to website passports-office.co.uk, which offers independent UK travel advice and passport services: “A damaged UK passport is classified as a passport that is in such a bad condition that it can no longer be used as a valid proof of your identity. In most cases this is classified under the terms ‘Beyond Reasonable Wear and Tear’ and this can in many cases be down to individual interpretation of what is classed as reasonable.”
Source : EXPRESS