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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Urgent passport applications

If you need your passport within two weeks, this counts as an urgent application and you will need to visit a Regional Passport Office. You must always make an appointment. Find out which service best meets your needs and what to do if you can't get to an office.

The basics

If you don't need to travel within two weeks, then you don't need to visit a Regional Passport Office to make an urgent application. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) recommends that you use the Post Office Check & Send service. You can also use the standard service and apply by post.

Allow six weeks for a first adult passport

In most cases you will need to attend a passport interview, so Fast Track and Premium services don't apply. The timings in this section are for other applications.

'Timetable for passport applications' explains the various services and timescales in detail. You can learn more about the Post Office Check & Send service and find your nearest Check & Send Post Office by following the link below.

Making an urgent application - travelling in less than two weeks

To get your passport within two weeks, you will need to apply in person at a Regional Passport Office. You can use:

  • the Fast Track one-week service
  • the Premium one-day service

To use either service you must first make an appointment. You can do this by calling the IPS Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000. The line is open between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm Monday to Friday and 9.00 am and 5.30 pm on weekends and public holidays. You'll need to bring a completed application form and any supporting documents to your appointment.

IPS strongly recommends that you don't book travel arrangements until you have your passport.

You'll need to bring a completed application form and any supporting documents to your appointment

Making appointments to visit in person

Demand for appointments in all IPS regions is usually very high - you should allow up to two weeks for your appointment date. You can't book appointments more than two weeks in advance.

If you make an appointment, please arrive no more than ten minutes before your appointment time to avoid unnecessary queuing.

Fast Track one-week service

This service guarantees delivery of your passport by Secure Delivery within one week (excluding bank and public holidays) of you applying.

The guarantee applies only if you:

  • supply your completed form and all supporting documents to IPS at the agreed appointment
  • are in to sign for delivery of the passport if required

This service is not available for a first adult passport.

Premium one-day service

The Premium service is a guaranteed service in which you deliver your application and collect your passport on the same day. It's available on weekdays for appointments before:

  • 4.00 pm in London
  • 1.30 pm in Liverpool
  • 1.00 pm in Peterborough
  • 12.30 pm in Glasgow and Newport
  • 12.00 noon in Belfast and Durham

And on Saturdays for appointments before 11.00 am.

The waiting time for your passport will be four hours from when the application is accepted and the cashier gives you a receipt.

This service is not available for:

  • a first adult or first child passport
  • extending a limited passport
  • replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport
  • making several or complex changes to your existing passport

Changing the name on your passport can usually be done using the Premium service. If you are unsure, call the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000 and explain the changes you need.

If you can't attend your appointment or collect your passport

If you're unable to attend an appointment or collect your passport yourself, you can ask someone else to do this for you. However, IPS can only issue your passport if you're in the UK at the time.

If you can't attend an appointment yourself, someone else may bring in the completed application form and supporting documents for you. They must also bring:

  • evidence of their identity, like their passport or driving licence (if they don't have either of these, call the Passport Adviceline for help on 0300 222 0000)
  • a signed letter from you giving them permission to submit the application on your behalf

However, if the application form is incorrectly completed or comes with the wrong supporting documents, IPS can't process the application. This may mean you have to make another appointment.

Someone else can also collect your passport for you, but they must bring:

  • evidence of their identity, as above
  • a signed letter from you, giving them permission to collect your passport

If the application is for a child, the person who has signed section 9 of the form must sign the letter.

Conditions of the Fast Track and Premium services

The guarantees for these services apply only if:

  • your application is straightforward
  • you have completed the application form properly and supplied all the necessary supporting documents

If you supply incomplete information or IPS cannot confirm your eligibility from the documents you supply, your passport may be delayed.

Refund of the Fast Track or Premium fee

You can claim a refund of these fees if IPS fails to meet its service guarantee. You may also be able to claim a refund on compassionate grounds, for example if your travel is urgent because a relative is very ill. For more details and instructions on how to claim, see ‘Table of passport fees, how to pay and refunds’.

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Additional links

Need passport advice?

For help, call the IPS Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.

The Adviceline is open:
- 8.00 am to 8.00 pm Monday to Friday
- 9.00 am to 5.30 pm weekends and public holidays

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