Charges for British passport renewals increase today

Published:  28 Mar at 6 PM
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Costs to expats of passport renewals are to increase by inflation, but UK residents will see much higher charges.

Taking British expats in France as an example, renewals will now be £105.86 with the price including secure delivery by courier, an increase of a little under three per cent over the previous cost of £102.86. Despite the increase on the already high charge for the service, some UK-resident citizens will be forced to pay increases of up to 27 per cent. A recent move to encourage Britons to order their replacement passports online has seen passport pricing varying yet again.

Online orders will now cost just £75.50, less expensive for the first time than postal applications which are now priced at £85. The increase in the charge for online booking is just under three per cent, but postal booking fees have gone up by £12.50, a 17 per cent rise. Passport renewals by post for children now cost £58.50, a massive 27 per cent increase, and online renewals are now priced at £49.

Applications can be made nine months in advance of the passport’s expiry date, with the remaining months tacked onto the new passport. In addition, there’s a further cost for returning old passports to the UK passport office. British retirees in receipt of the state pension and without any other source of income may well be hard pressed to afford the increases, although users of the slightly cheaper online service are finding it far less bother than expected.

One British expat in Charente described the process, saying it was quick and easy once a photo taken on an iPod had been uploaded to the official website. Should the photo not be acceptable, users are told to try again until they get it right. His renewal passport arrived just two weeks after his application was accepted. Expats living in France but visiting the UK can use the one-day Premium service or the one-week Fast Track application at passport customer service centres in London, Liverpool, Newport, Peterborough, Glasgow, Belfast or Durham. The Premier service is priced at £177, and the one-week service at £142.
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