How to Apply for a Child's Passport
One of the essential items for a foreign holiday is a passport, and if you’re travelling on holiday with your child for the first time, don’t forget that they need their own passport, even if they are just a baby.
It’s advisable to apply for a passport as early as possible, especially given the problems the Passport Office has had over the last couple of years.
If you’re applying for your child’s first passport, here’s a list of frequently asked questions that you may find useful:
- When Does a Baby or Child Need Their Own Passport?
In short, from birth! Every UK citizen, whether they are a baby, a child, a teenager or an adult, requires a full and valid British passport to travel overseas.
- How Much Does a Child Passport Cost?
A child’s passport costs £46 (correct as of March ‘15) for the standard service. The price is £46 whether the passport is new or being renewed. There is also an option called Check & Send which is carried out by the Post Office. This service costs £55.75 (March ‘15) and provides a checking service to ensure that all photographs, paperwork and signatures are correct.
- How Long is a Child’s Passport Valid For?
A child’s passport is valid for five years.
- How Long Will The Passport Application Take?
Outside of the peak summer period, a standard child’s passport application usually takes three weeks. The Post Office’s Check & Send takes just two weeks.
- Urgent Passport Application
If you need a new to apply for a passport urgently, or need to renew it quickly, you can apply for the Fast Track service, which takes just a week and cost £87.
- Can I Renew My Child’s Passport Early?
If your child’s passport is a standard five-year passport you can renew it early. However, the passport must not be damaged in any way and no other information can be changed i.e. name or national status. The outstanding time left on the existing passport, up to nine months, will be added to the new, five-year passport.
- How Will I Know My Passport Application is Being Processed?
Each application form has a unique ID barcode. Take a note of this and you can track your application online.
- What Documents Do I Need To Apply For My Child’s Passport?
Any child born or adopted in the UK will need their original birth or adoption certificate.
There is also a section in the application form that requires the details of the passport of one of the child’s parents or official guardian. However, if the parent or guardian’s passport has expired then the outdated passport will need to be sent off with the child’s application form.
- Applying for a Passport for a Child Born Outside of the UK
If your child was born outside of the UK, visit the passport section of the Government’s website for the very latest information and advice.
- Which Parent Signs The Child’s Passport Form?
A parent, or guardian must sign the passport form – there is no preference to whether this is the mother or father for married couples. A professional person must also countersign the passport application.
- My Child is About to Turn 16 – Do They Need a New Passport Immediately?
If your child is about to turn 16 and still has time left on their passport there is no need to renew it, even if they are about to travel overseas. This means, for example, if your child has a five year child’s passport, turns 16 but still has two years remaining on it, then they can keep this passport until it expires.