THE Post Office has launched a digital passport renewal at 725 branches across the UK.
The new in-branch service will allow customers to renew their passport digitally with Post Office teams on hand to ensure their application is error-free and processed as quickly as possible.
To find your nearest Post Office offering the service, you can search on the website here.
The cost of renewing a passport digitally via Post Office branches is £75.50.
This is the same rate offered by Her Majesty’s Passport Office for an online application through the GOV.UK website), but there is a catch.
Because customers will have to buy the ‘check and send’ service, they will be charged an additional £15.40 bringing the total to £90.90.
That means it is 17 per cent more expensive to renew at the Post Office that doing it yourself through the government website.
But you will get your forms checked making sure they are error-free before you send them off and the charge includes getting digital photographs taken in-branch too.
Who can countersign a passport
SOME passport application forms and photos need to be countersigned to prove the identity of the person applying
You will need to to get the form and one of the two photos signed if you’re applying for a:
- first adult passport
- first child passport
- replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged passport
- renewal of a passport for a child aged 11 or under
- renewal of a passport if your appearance has changed and you can’t be recognised from your existing passport
Any prospective countersignatory must meet certain criteria.
- They must have known the person applying (or the adult who signed the form if the passport is for a child under 16) for at least 2 years
- They must be able to identify the person applying such as being a friend, neighbour or colleague (not just someone who knows them professionally)
- They must be “a person of good standing in their community” or work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession – examples of recognised professions are available here
- They can’t be closely-related by birth or marriage to the person applying
- They can’t be in a relationship with or live at the same address as the person applying
Doing a paper form is more expensive, with the cost coming in at £85 without check and send.
The new digital passport offering is part of the Post Office’s wider plans to modernise the service.
Since 2012, it has invested in more than 7,500 branches, and improved services for customers, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours a week across the network.
Martin Edwards, managing director for Identity Services at the Post Office, commented: “The Passport Office has recommended customers use our trusted Check and Send service for over 20 years – and now we can offer a service which combines the speed and convenience of a digital application with the support and reassurance that comes with a branch-based service.
In the time it has been offering the Check and Send service, the Post Office has checked over 30 million passports.
HM Passport Office’s director general, Mark Thomson, added “We want to make sure we have a modern and easy-to-use service for the millions of passport holders and applicants, which is why the Post Office’s Check and Send service is really valuable.
“Our customers want convenience and peace of mind and this new digital service will make it even easier to submit their passport application – it is precisely the sort of innovation they are looking for.”
If you’re looking to save some money, it’s still far cheaper to apply digitally online yourself. But if you make mistakes, it could end up costing you more further down the line.
Read our guide to passport renewal including everything you need to know about the application process here.
Two million Brits need to renew their passports immediately or risk being barred from Europe if we fail to get a Brexit deal, the Government has warned.
The Government has agreed to bring back the dark blue passport after the UK leaves the EU next year.
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