Tuesday, May 17

Summer holiday essentials: passports



The Leave vote in the referendum has led to speculation that we all need new passports, but like so much else, nothing will change until we actually leave the EU.

In the meantime, normal rules apply. And this summer, no doubt the usual stresses will emerge.

If you have just spotted your passport has run out, and you have urgent plans to travel, HM Passport Office has some limited possibilities to help out. The best place to start is by dialling the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.

You can apply in person for the Premium one-day service (£128), which is normally delivered four hours after your interview. Alternatively, the one-week Fast Track service (£103) may be sufficient. And if you are well organised and can allow three weeks for the renewal, the standard adult fee is £77.50 (£46 for a child).

Don’t be alarmed by some urban myths about passport validity – in particular stories that for some popular destinations you need months of validity remaining.

A British passport is valid up to and including the date of expiry for travel anywhere in the EU (which includes the Canaries), as well as the US.

Conversely, though, if you are heading beyond those destinations make sure you have enough validity remaining. Egypt, for example, demands six months from your date of entry into the country.

If you lose or have your passport stolen abroad, first report it to the police and obtain a report, and then apply to local British embassy or consulate for an emergency replacement. This usually takes a couple of days. To speed things up, take a photocopy of your passport’s information page and keep it separate to your documents so that you have the details to hand.