Whether you’re already scrolling through Trip Advisor or just want to get organised, find out how to sort your baby’s passport
Whatever his age, your baby needs his own passport and it’s one that’ll be valid for five years.
How to apply for a passport
You can pick up an application form at the Post Office, go online at Gov.uk to request one be sent to you, contact the Passport Advice line (0300 222 0000) to ask for one to be sent, or complete the process online at Gov.uk
This costs £46, and with the online option you’ll still need to print off a form at the end to sign and send to the passport office.
The Post Office also offers a Passport Check and Send service for £54.75. With this, they’ll check you’ve filled the form in correctly and have included the right supporting documents. They also post it special delivery, which can be quicker.
How to fill out the passport form
It’s relatively straightforward. The details are on the application form, including anything additional for you to do or know – for example, send your baby’s original birth certificate instead of a photocopy. Don’t worry, they return it.
Send your baby’s original birth certificate instead of a photocopy. Don’t worry, they return it
It is worth looking at the guidelines at gov.uk to make sure you get it right, especially because some instructions vary under certain circumstances including surrogacy.
Your baby’s passport photo
We’ve all sat in that photo booth – no smile, looking straight ahead. Fortunately the rules aren’t so strict around your baby’s pic, but there are certain guidelines.
You still need a plain background, the right photo size, and so on, but under-sixes don’t have to be looking at the camera or have a neutral expression, while under-ones don’t have to have their eyes open.
Still, your baby must be on his own in the photo – so you’ll need to sit him on something or be out of shot if you’re holding him. He can’t have a toy or dummy, either. Snappy Snaps and other photo shops offer baby passport pic services, which can make things easier. Find the criteria and examples here.
How long does it take?
At least three weeks for the passport to arrive with you, although longer if the office needs more info or you haven’t filled the application out correctly. There were also delays with the process this year, so do it as early as possible and ideally before booking your holiday to be safe.
If you need the passport more urgently, use the Fast Track or Premium services – but it’ll be more expensive.
You can track your application online – straight away if you’ve applied online and after three weeks if you did it by post.