Renewing a UK passport

Joan needs to renew her UK passport but thinks it’s too difficult so, in this week’s travel SOS, we take a look at how this can be done and how much it will cost.


Q. Joan
What is the easiest way to renew a UK passport from Australia? It used to be that you could get the form from Australia Post, but now it all seems to be online. What do I do?

A. You’re correct Joan, the process of apply for a UK passport from here in Australia has changed.

There are an estimated 1.1 million Brits in Australia and every year around 60,000 of them renew their passports. So, the process has been streamlined. 

To renew your British passport in Australia, you must now visit the dedicated website and submit your passport renewal application form. You’ll need a debit or credit card to use this service.

The fees involved in renewing your passport are £94 (about $175) and a courier fee of £19.86 (about $36). You should also add a further $25 for a registered envelope to send your documents and old passport to the UK, and, if you’re not taking them yourself, the cost of having photos taken. So, all up, renewing your UK passport could cost around $250.

If you are planning to get your photos taken at a photo booth, ensure the booth provides photo codes that can be used in UK passport applications.

The code is in three parts, it will contain letters and numbers and will be printed on your photo sheet. It’s a bit different, but once you have your code, it’s simple to use it in your passport application.

Once you get to the photo stage in the application process, simply enter the code in the box provided and you’ll see your photo on-screen. Check your photo, then press submit and your photo will be added directly to your application.

Photos from a booth or shop are more likely to pass the checks but you can take a photo using your smartphone or camera.

If you want to take a digital photo at home, read through the photo rules and make sure you stick to them.

How long will it take?

According to the HM Passport Office, you may have to wait 13 weeks to get your new British passport in Australia.

Before you get started, it’s worthwhile downloading and reading the UK Passport Office’s online guidance notes to renewing your passport. It will give you precise details of the documentation you need, whether you need your photos countersigned, etc.

Once you have everything to hand, you can begin to fill in your UK passport application. The website is easy to navigate and understand, even for the less technologically advanced among us. It walks you through each stage of the passport renewal process with clear commands and instructions.

If you need to travel urgently and do not have time to renew or replace your UK passport from abroad, you may be eligible to apply for an emergency travel document.

Do you have a UK passport? Have you used the new streamlined application process? Let us know how it worked for you.

Also read: What type of damage will void your passport?

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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