Q&A: Can I renew my passport amid the Coronavirus lockdown?

British Passport
(c) Chris Fleming

If your passport has expired or has less than six months validity time left, and you are looking to renew it, this will be a bit tricky right now.

Passport applications and coronavirus (COVID-19)

You can apply online and in normal circumstances, it would take up to three weeks but it’s not clear how long the process will take amid the lockdown.

Premium and Fast Track services are temporarily unavailable because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The official message is:

It is taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Do not apply unless you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons, for example if a family member has died, or for government business. Phone the Passport Adviceline to find out what to do.

To find out more you can call 0300 222 0000
From outside the UK: +44 (0)300 222 0000

What are the rules on passport validity?

All travellers require a valid passport to travel. This usually means having at least six months left before it expires. After the Brexit transit period is over at the end of 2020 this will also apply to travel to Europe from the UK.

Incidentally, it is cheaper to apply online:

  Apply online Apply by paper form
Adult (16 and over) standard 34-page passport £75.50 £85