Recently, we had to renew a child’s passport online (well, actually three!), so I actually feel like something of an expert in the area of Renewing a Child Passport online.
I’m not, obviously, so don’t hold me to that but I thought I’d share some tips and some of the things you have to think about particularly as I have recently read a hilarious article in the Telegraph asking Why Renewing a Child’s Passport is so difficult! Definitely worth a read! Passport renewal, child humour!
Can you Renew a Child’s Passport Online?
The short answer is yes, you can renew a child passport online. Don’t be daunted by the process as it’s actually very easy and here is how.
How to Renew a Child Passport Online
- Don’t book travel until you have a valid passport – doing so is at your own risk. It can take six to ten weeks to get your child’s passport but it should take three weeks for a renewal.
- It costs £53.50!!! Yes, that’s right, £53.50!! I almost cried when I had to pay £160.50 all at once – that’ll teach me to have three children so close together, won’t it? If you need it quickly, it will cost you more, and it’s £63.00 to complete a paper application. Thus online applications are the best route.
- You’ll need a debit or credit card to use the service. Charges for children’s passports are £53.50 online and £63.00 in the post. Child passport renewal joy!
- You need to take the photo – get this right before you start the form! The photo requirements are stringent, to say the least (you can find the standards here) and can take some time to get right! You can use a service at one of the high street photo shops, but we did manage to get it right, taking the photos against a white wall.
- The online system recommends that you submit a digital copy.
How to Take an Acceptable Child’s Passport Photo
- Use a plain background.
- Don’t crop the photo – include your child’s face, shoulders and upper body.
- They must have their eyes open and visible.
- Keep their hair away from their face and brushed down, with no hair over the face or eyes.
- Make sure there are no shadows on their face or behind them
- Get a friend to take your photo; selfies are not accepted.
- Be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera.
- Have a plain expression and their mouth closed.
- Not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
- Do not have anything covering your face.
A great addition to the new online service is the automated check. It will automatically tell you if the photo you have uploaded isn’t appropriate and why. I am sure this isn’t foolproof but it does save you sending off applications in the post and waiting for weeks only to be told you haven’t done it right.
You then continue through a series of questions with boxes that need to be ticked. Date of Birth, Old Passport Issue date, Is your passport damaged, Do you have dual nationality? You are then prompted to use a different service if you need the passport more urgently.
Renew Child Passport
Will I Need a Countersignature for my Childs Passport Renewal ?
Yes, if your child is under 12, you’ll need to get their application and one of their photos countersigned. If your child is 12 or over, you only need to do this if they cannot be recognised from the photo in their current passport. You should read the guidelines for who can sign, also make sure the countersignatory you want to use is available when you are applying. They now do this online.
What Documentation do I Need to Renew Child Passport?
Just your childs old passport if it is a passport renewal.
Who can Sign Your Child’s Passport Form and Photo
Your countersignatory must:
- Have known you for at least two years
- Be able to identify you, for example, a friend, neighbour or colleague (not just someone who knows you professionally)
- Plus be a person of good standing in their community or work in (or be retired from) one of the linked recognised professions
How Long Does A Child’s Passport Renewal Take?
The rule of thumb is allow 10 weeks, however the can be longer at busy time. Our advice would be toapply for your passport well in advance. There is a fast track system too which can be done in a week.
Do You Need to Return the old Passport to Renew Child Passport?
Yes, you will also have to return your child’s old passport to the passport office so they can cancel it. They usually then return it to you.
Another new addition to the service is free text or email updates, and you can pay £3 extra to have your passport sent back by Special Delivery too.
NB: Do double check the address of where you need to send the passport to. A friend of mine recently did this for her children and the address for each of the children she was given was different. She only noticed this after she had posted them to the same address. This caused a delay which thankfully wasn’t an issue for them but could be for others. So check!
For full details on renewing child passports, please visit the Government Website as this article is only based on my own experience.
Visit gov.uk/get-a-child-passport for full details.
If this all seems rather complicated, you could always use a company like this one to help you apply for a British passport, whether a child passport, renew a child passport uk or a second passport.
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.