Travelling on a passport that is about to expire can lead to travel complications and, in some cases, you might not be able to board your flight or get through immigration control at your destination country. Always renew a UK passport six months before your current passport is due to expire.
Get a passport application renewal form. There are three ways that you can get the application form -- you can pick up the application from a Post Office branch, request that Her Majesty's Passport Office (HMPO) post the application form, or fill out the application form online and have the completed application form sent to you from HMPO. If you choose to have the application form posted to you, then you can fill out a request online or you can phone the HMPO.
Fill out the application form. The application will ask several questions about your citizenship and birth. There also will be other questions regarding your previous passport.
Get your photo taken. You will be required to submit two passport photos along with the completed application form. The photo requirements are very specific, so check the guidelines in the application form before getting the picture done.
Sign the application form. In most cases only the applicant will be required to sign the application. However, if your appearance has changed dramatically, then a second signature will be required. This is a counter signature that states that the person in the picture is you. The second signer will have to be a British or Irish passport holder who is over the age of 18 and willing to write his passport number on your application renewal form. You will also need to provide a signed photo if your renewing a child's passport.
Pay the fees. As of December 2013, the cost to renew an adult passport is £72.50 for adults and £46 for children. The fee can be paid with a cheque and posted with the completed application. You can also pay online.
Post the application. On the application form it will state the address of the HMPO that you will have to mail in the completed application form, payment of fees and the two passport photos.
HMPO does not require that your passport is expired before you renew it. Once you receive the new passport, the old passport will be deactivated, and it can no longer be used.
If you need your passport within three weeks you will have to request the fast-track service. The fee for this service is more than the standard application. Make sure to check the fee schedule before sending in the check with the application.