About British Passport Renewals

Updated February 21, 2017

When travelling internationally, British citizens are required to carry a passport that is valid, generally for at least six months. Passports are issued by the British government and are not considered valid or acceptable for travel when they are past their date of expiration. When renewing passports, British citizens have several options.


British nationals can renew their passports if they are living in the UK or when they are living overseas. It is also possible for a British national living overseas to renew a passport when back in the UK for a visit. Because of delays and the possibility of holdups in the passport renewal process, British nationals should renew their passports at least a year before their expiration date.

Time Frame

If you are a British citizen living in the United Kingdom, your passport renewal process will be easy if you still have your last passport, it is intact and if you are not planning to change your name or your status. In this case, the passport renewal process takes about three weeks. If you need to renew your passport in less time, you can call the Passport Advice Line at 0300-222-0000. The Passport Advice Line is open 24 hours a day for easy service. When you call, a customer service representative will help you choose from a variety of expedited services, including one-day and one-week turnaround times.


Many British citizens need to renew their passports when they are living in a different country. In this case, you have several options. You can call the nearest British embassy or consulate to schedule an in-person interview or to find out more about specific passport renewal services in your particular area. You can also renew your passport when you are in the UK on a trip. In this case, you must visit the Identity and Passport Service to make an appointment. Be sure to make your appointment early, as you will need to be present in the UK to receive your renewed passport.


Renewed passports are not good indefinitely. Most passports will be valid for 10 years if you are an adult and five years for children. At the end of 10 years, you will need to acquire another passport renewal to be able to travel internationally.


Several conditions will affect the renewal of your British passport. If you plan to change your name or status, your passport renewal will require additional forms and possibly an extended period of time. The passport renewal process might also be affected by a restricted status on your original passport or if your original passport was issued when you were a child.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.