The process of filling out a passport application form is a relatively simple one, which nonetheless brings about a number of questions and doubts, particularly from first-time applicants. This section will provide useful information on how to fill out each of the sections in a standard application form, so that the process is made as quick and simple as possible.

Before we go on to analyse each of the form’s sections in detail, however, it is useful to know if you are eligible for a British passport. When preparing to fill in the application, bear in mind that to obtain British nationality, you will need to fall within certain parameters established by HM Passports Office.

Current rules established by that institution decree, for instance, that to be eligible for a British passport, a person born on or after January 1 1983 will need to have at least one parent of British nationality, either by birth or naturalisation. Older citizens, born before that date, are eligible for a passport if they were born in mainland UK or one of the colonies, or if they had ‘right of abode’ on the date in question. ‘Right of abode’ is defined as the right to live and work in the United Kingdom without restriction.

Please also note that being born or living in the United Kingdom does not automatically make you eligible for British citizenship. To be eligible, you will need to fulfill at least one of the requisites detailed above. Similarly, if you were born or live abroad, that does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining a passport. What does affect your eligibility is whether or not you have a criminal record or court order, if you are in debt, or if you have been issued any travel restrictions. All of the above will prevent you from being issued a British passport.

SECTION 1 – Type of Passport

The first section in the British Passport application form deals with the type of passport you are applying for. You may be applying for a renewal of your existing passport, a brand-new adult or child passport, a replacement for a lost or stolen document, an extension on a passport, or a change to your existing identification (either a new name, a new photo, or a change to your status as a British national.)

To fill in this section, simply put a cross next to the relevant option. Each option has boxes for ‘adult’ or ‘child’ passport, so be sure to make that distinction as well. Be careful not to mark any of the other boxes – do not cross them out or ‘void’ them. Fill in your relevant option only.

This section also includes boxes for people with visual disabilities, as well as for citizens requesting a 48-page passport or requesting that their documents be sent to them by express delivery. Only fill in these boxes if either of these situations applies to you.

Please note that going forward this form should be filled out in black ink only.

SECTION 2 – Passport Beneficiary

The second section in the form deals with the beneficiary of the passport, that is to say, the person it will be attributed to. This is a very straightforward section, where all applicants need to do is fill in the usual list of vital statistics: name, surname, previous or middle names, address, date of birth, gender, place of birth, country of birth, phone and mobile numbers and e-mail address.

The only precaution applicants should take when filling in this form is to ensure each of the boxes given only contains one letter, and that the letters do not spill past the edges of the boxes provided. Otherwise, this is a simple section to fill out, which should not pose a problem to any applicants.

SECTION 3 – Previous passports

Section 3 refers to previous passports, either held by the applicant or in which he or she was included. For non-British nationals, this includes the national identity card issued in their country of origin.

When filling out this section, applicants should be careful to list every passport they have previously held or been included in. These must also be sent in to HM Passports Office, along with the application. In case of lost or stolen passports, an LS01 form should also be included in this package.

Once again, the process of filling in the boxes is quite straightforward and self-evident. Applicants should first cross the relevant box to indicate whether or not they have previously held or been included in passports, then fill out their numbers in item B. Item C should be left blank unless their latest passport has been lost or stolen. If that is the case, applicants should fill in the passport information, such as when and where it was issued, the holders’ surname at the time of issuing, how it got lost or stolen, and the date and place in which it went missing.

SECTION 4 – Parents’ Details

Section 4 deals with information about the holders’ parents. Under normal circumstances, this will be a very straightforward section to fill out; however, there may be a couple of cases which require special attention or procedures, such as if the holder is an orphan or does not know his or her parents.

Applicants should bear in mind that this section only needs to be filled out if they happen to be applying for their first adult passport, for a child passport. or if they are trying to replace a lost passport or extend the validity of their existing one. In these cases, the names of both parents should be provided, as well as their town, country and date of birth, nationality and citizenship at the time the applicant was born, date of marriage or partnership to the other parent, and the number and date of issue of their British passport, should they have one.

In cases where the applicant is an orphan or does not know their parents, the names should be replaced with those of the applicant’s legal guardians. The same information should still be supplied. Similarly, adopted and surrogate children, as well as those born from assisted reproduction, can acquire nationality from either or both of their parents, provided the parental order was issued after April of 2010, or 2009 for same-sex female couples. Single parents should add a note on the form declaring their family situation.

SECTION 5 – Registration and Naturalisation

Section 5 refers to applicants who have been registered or naturalised as British citizens. This is a short section which only needs to be filled out if the applicant has been granted a certificate of registration or naturalisation by the British Home Office. If that is the case, the certificate’s number, along with its date and place of issue, should be indicated. Again, applicants who do not fall under the parameters detailed above need not fill out this section of the form.

SECTION 6 – Signature for 12-15 Year Old Children

The sixth section of this form is reserved for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Applicants required to put their signature in this section should be careful to do so in black biro pen (as with the remainder of the form) and to date it in the provided space. They should also be careful to ensure their signature stays within the borders of the box provided.

Please note that the child’s signature on this section is not enough to complete their application. A parent or guardian needs to sign the relevant section as well (section 9) for the application to be approved.

SECTION 7 – Blank Space

Section 7 consists of a blank space. This is entirely intentional, and applicants should be careful to leave this space blank and not write anything on it.

SECTION 8 – Additional Information

Section 8 is reserved for additional information that could not be fitted into the previous sections. Additional names from section 2, grandparent information for parents born after December 31 1982 (for section 4), L501 notifications, information about mental or physical conditions, additional addresses, details about legal documents and informations about surrogacy (if relevant) all fit into this section.

If applicants find that this section is still not enough to contain all of their additional information, they should send the remaining information in on a blank sheet of paper, to be sent in along with the form.

SECTION 9 – Declaration

Section 9 is the Declaration, which the applicant signs to indicate they have agreed to a number of rules laid out by HM Passports Office. These are partially laid out in the section in question, with the remainder being included in the guidance booklet provided along with the form. Applicants should always read these through thoroughly and carefully, ensuring that they are aware of, and agree with, the conditions laid out therein.

Like in section 6, applicants should be careful when signing this section, to make sure they do so in black biro pen, within the limits of the box given, and remember to date it. In cases where an adult is signing on behalf of a child, they should add their full name and relationship to the child to this section as well, using the boxes provided.

SECTION 10 – Countersignature

The countersignature, which section 10 of the form is dedicated to, can be one of the most important elements of a passport application. This is a process by which a third party confirms your identity and vouches that the details in your form are correct. By signing the form, they are also verifying your photographs. In the case of an application for a child, a countersignature will also mean the person signing has known the parent or guardian in section 9 for a period of more than two years, and that they are fit to be a parent.

Countersignataries must be a professional, have known the applicant for at least two years, reside in the UK and hold a valid British or Irish passport. They may not be related to the applicant or involved with them in a personal capacity, such as co-habitation or a relationship. Employees of HM Passports Office are also inelligible to be countersignataries.

When filling out section 10 of the form, the countersignatary will need to give their full business or home address and contact details. Once the application is sent in, their signature will be verified against passport records and they may be contacted. If HM Passports Office is not satisfied with the choice of countersignatary, the applicant may be asked to pick a different one.


Applicants should remember that two identical, passport-standard photographs and all their past, uncancelled passports should be sent in with the form.

Richard Howard

Travel Specialist at Passport Advice & Services
With 10yrs plus experience in the passport application and renewal space. Richard Howard has assisted many consumers avoid missing their annual holiday or urgent business trip abroad with help securing them urgent same or next day appointments as well as saved countless others save time, money and hassle with his companys' passport lodging and collection service.
Richard Howard