Although your current passport may be valid, certain changes can occur which will require you to renew your passport.
These changes include: whether your passport photo is greatly different from your last one; a change in your name- if you’ve recently gotten married or divorced; or if your British national status has changed.
There are several options for renewing your passport in the event of making a change. These options include the following:
- Standard Application Process – When renewing your passport using the standard application process, it typically takes up to 6 weeks from start to finish. For those who travel frequently and may need their passport sooner, one of the other options may be more preferable.
- 7-Day Process – This process, referred to as the 1 Week Fast Track Passport Renewal Service, allows you to renew your passport within seven days. In order to renew through this process, however, you must first book an appointment with one of the seven physical Passport Office locations that are located throughout the UK. If you are unable to attend the appointment, you are allowed to have an authorized person attend the appointment on your behalf.
- 1-Day Premium Process – Using the 1-Day Premium Process, passports can be issued within 4 hours to those who qualify. Going this route to renew your passport will require that you personally attend your appointment at one of the Passport Offices, unless you qualify for an exemption. In the case of an exemption, you may qualify to have a British Passport Services approved agent take your application and other required materials to the Passport Office in your stead, and then return the following day with your new passport. (Certain qualification criteria apply).
When Should You Change Your Passport?
Before traveling, it is important to determine whether the photo or information on your passport is going to cause any issue at an airport, or hinder your travel in any other way. If so, you should take the opportunity to renew your passport prior to your next trip.
When Is Your Passport Considered Invalid?
Although your passport is technically valid until its actual expiry date, some countries state that travelers should have at least 6 months or more left before their passport is due to expire. This will prevent any travel issues. As soon as your passport comes close to having only 6 months until its expiry, it is advisable to renew it as soon as possible.