Holidaymakers planning to travel this summer should check their passports are valid and leave plenty of time to apply for a new one, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) warned today.

As the peak period for passport applications has begun, IPS is reminding customers to check their passport expiry date. If you need a new one, the advice is to allow at least three weeks for it to arrive and longer if you are applying for the first time.

Customers are also reminded that they can carry over up to nine months remaining on their existing passport, so there is no need to wait until the last minute to renew it. Renewing in plenty of time means customers could avoid a last minute dash to the passport office and save as much as £52 on the premium one-day service.

Sarah Rapson, Chief Executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said:

“No one wants to discover a few days before their summer holiday that their passport has expired and have to face the effort of getting it renewed in a hurry.

“Check your passport now, and, if you need a new one, allow plenty of time for it to arrive.
“If you use the Post Office Check and Send service, or our postal or online services not only will you save yourself the last minute dash to the passport office, you could also save yourself at least £26 or as much as £52.”

Over the next three months IPS will process more than 1.8 million passport applications including more than half a million children’s passports, and about 1.2 million adult passports.

A straightforward passport renewal using the Post Office’s Check and Send Service, or IPS’s own postal or online services takes around three weeks and includes a secure courier delivery to the customer’s home or workplace.

Renewing your passport through the post or online costs £77.50. Doing it through the Post Office’s Check and Send service costs an additional £8.75.

Customers needing a passport in a rush can also use IPS’s Premium one day service and one week fast track service, but these are more expensive at £129.50 and £112.50 respectively and you will need to make an appointment.

For further information on applying for a passport, go to

First time applicants may be required to attend an interview. Where an interview is required applicants cannot use the express services.

Turnaround times for passport services are not guaranteed and customers should leave as much time as possible.

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