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Qualifying for a free passport

If you were born on or before 2 September 1929 and are British, you could be eligible for a free passport. You need a full ten-year passport if you want to travel abroad, even if it is for just one day. Your passport must be valid throughout your entire trip.

Applying for your passport

If you're a British national born on or before 2 September 1929 you can apply for a free standard 32-page ten-year passport from Her Majesty's Passport Office (formerly Identity and Passport Service). This passport will be free whether it is a renewal or your first passport.

You can apply for a refund of the standard passport fee if:

  • you applied for a passport since 19 May 2004
  • you are eligible for a free passport

You can telephone the Passport Adviceline for information about applying for a free passport or a refund. The adviceline is open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am and 5.30 pm on weekends and public holidays.

Irish passports

If you want information about travelling on an Irish passport and to check if you are eligible for a free passport, go to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

How to apply

There are several ways you can apply for a British passport.

Online application

You can fill in an online passport application at Her Majesty's Passport Office website . Once you send the online form, it will be returned to you to sign and date. You will then need to enclose the necessary photographs and documents, before posting it to Her Majesty's Passport Office for processing.

Help on the high street

Many Post Office branches provide a 'Check & Send' service. For a fee, they will check your passport application and forward all the relevant paperwork for the passport directly to Her Majesty's Passport Office.

Passport office

Her Majesty's Passport Office has a Passport Customer Service Centre in Belfast: You can also telephone the Passport Adviceline to request a copy of the application form.

Applying for a passport if you live abroad

If you live outside the UK you can only apply for a free passport in person when visiting the UK, or through your local British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. You cannot apply online or by post.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Depending on how quickly you need your passport there are different processing service available:

Standard application

Her Majesy's Passport Office recommends you allow at least three weeks for standard service by post.

Urgent application

Her Majesty's Passport Office can process urgent applications quickly and offers a one-week and a same-day service at its Passport Customer Service Centres.  If you use the faster non-standard services you may be able to get a free passport, but you will still have to pay a fee. There is also a fee for the Post Office Check & Send service. Find out more about the relevant fees on the GOV.UK website.

Travelling with your passport

When you're travelling with your passport, it's a good idea to:

  • note your passport number, place of issue, issue and expiry dates in a safe place
  • keep a photocopy of your passport detail page separate from your passport
  • leave a photocopy with a friend or relative at home
  • write the full details of your next of kin in your passport
  • keep your passport in a safe place when you're abroad

If your passport is lost or stolen, contact the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate immediately.

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