Good Morning,

I am sure this has been posted before but can anyone shed any light on the best and cheapest way to renew our passports which are due in July this year, I am sure I have read somewhere that the government were going to make it easier and cheaper.

Thanks in anticipation


Don't know if you saw the recent issue of The Connexion, but they report as follows:

THE cost of a new passport for British expats living in France is set to fall 35% from April.

Immigration and security minister James Brokenshire has announced that, from April 7, the fee for customers applying for a UK passport from overseas will fall £45 for adults and £28.50 for children.

The new fees will be:

Adult 32-page passport £83
Child 32-page passport £53
A 48-page passport, which is available to adults and children, will cost £91.

The fall in price has been made possible by efficiency savings made over the past three years after processing and issuing of overseas passports was brought back to the UK from individual processing centres at consulates across the world, including Paris.

I guess because I got the old one back first go and had to have the real McCoy sent again they have another DHL charge for just one. Who knows, it is all without any kind of transparency other than the application process is better. HM Rip-off Office whatever the 'reason'!

They've charged you something extra for requiring a re-send as the double courier charge is £19.86. See this link:


You’ll have to pay a fee for your passport and a courier fee of £19.86. The courier fee pays for your passport and supporting documents to be sent back to you securely.

Passport type Passport fee Total to pay (including courier fee)
Adult standard 32-page passport £128.00 £147.86
Adult jumbo 48-page passport £154.50 £174.36

I KNOW what you mean. In fact, I was supposed to be on a family visit to Switzerland right now. They went yesterday, I didn't, because I couldn't fly without the thing. I got such a rollicking for not being here, not looking at my messages on my mobile and a cartload more. At least I have absolutely blissful silence for a week, as much as I love them all, but if I do not stay in today to wait for the confounded thing and it went back again I would NEVER hear the end of it :-(

Looks like it's the expensive/complicated route then. I couldn't stand living in the same house as my missus if her new passport failed to arrive.;-)

When I was trying to find out what next after it was returned to them, I called for information on what would happen. Knowing my niece is coming next week I asked if they would send it to my sister so that my niece could bring it with her. I then had a lecture on how they are not supposed to send passports to third persons, that they can now see where we are applying from because it is an electronic application and also the telephone number(s) they require tell them the same. If they believe the delivery address is a proxy, they will then contact the applicant and ask him or her to change it. As she said, since a passport is still required to enter the UK they know that people are not arriving after applying. Such was the lecture. It put me in my place and now I am awaiting my resent passport right now, having had a message on my mobile from DHL this morning and awaiting a call from the delivery man so that I can sign for it. (The old one reached me after the new one did not).

It is all a bl**dy nuisance and does not make things easier for us, as usual, although that is what I was told it does. Civil servants, grrrrrrrrrrr!

Brian, help me out here please. Where & when did HMG say they were trying to stop us using a proxy to renew our passports? I realise it's dodgy but how would they know?

I found out that they actually charge £14.50 to resend, as in my case. So doing the sums, 2x that is £29 off the £148.76 is £119.76, so not even the same fee as the premium service. So Peter it gets all the less transparent, so what the hell is the game other than profiteering? I agree that it is a rip off but if they are trying to end people sending via a UK proxy then they are out to get us as sitting ducks leaving us with little choice.

Certainly we should raise the matter through somebody in parliament, probably the opposition person responsible. Nonetheless the different between finding out what the charges are at the time of application and a couple of years getting this through parliament, if anybody took it up, and then no guaranteed resolution (perhaps then the European Commission, another several years) does not square up and they will already know that in the UK. We are really truly sitting ducks.

> The extra money is because they use DHL which is unnecessarily expensive but more reliable than the post in either country.

I'm fine with that, but the courier charges are paid on top of the £128. My beef is that they charge us the same price as for a premium same-day service (within the UK), but provide less than the standard service that costs £72.50 within the UK. (They pay return postage within the UK, IIRC.) It's a rip-off & just the sort of thing that an expat MP should take up, if such existed.

Do it from there, means going with the pics and her old passport to get it all working. But yes. In the end we'll have to prove we can breathe, can tap dance and breed canaries in four languages to get the blasted thing.

Oh Hell! my wife's is due for renewal this July! What do you reckon? give it a go? I'm about to visit Blighty & leave said passport with the kids to post.

Worked Vic, they're trying to put a real stop to it.

Tracking works very well. As you say, it ells you that the passport is not there, when it arrives (mine took six days) and says when it is done. It is better than before. The extra money is because they use DHL which is unnecessarily expensive but more reliable than the post in either country.

A few days ago I sent off my renewal application exactly as Brian describes. To avoid the rush, mine has gone well in advance of the renewal date, as they renew it for 10 years from the date your current passport expires, though not more than 9 months ahead. It is without doubt a rip-off for overseas applicants, as they rush you £148.76 (£128 + 2 x courier fees). One-day service in the UK, which one could use if actually there, is only £128.00. Clearly they couldn't honestly justify the premium over the UK rate (£72.50) given that they're making us pay for the courier fees for the returned documents & we pay for the Recommandée in sending the old passport to them. I'd love to initiate a judicial review of the pricing, but that's an inordinately expensive process. I just put some of the winter fuel payment towards the extra cost, seeing as how I live in a 'hot' country... :-)

There is now a website where the progress of your application can be followed, but it's important to note down (or otherwise capture) the ID & password details that they give you, as they don't appear to be readily available if you lose them. It's not what I would call a "quality" service, given that my passport arrived with them last Friday (as per & & the site still says that they're waiting for it, but, as an ex-civil servant myself, this doesn't exactly amaze me.

It's what we do. Works every time.

The passport service is now fast. You apply on line, the link Terry has given, pay then and there. Then you send in your old passport and two pictures and the application is being processed whilst the old one is on the way there. DHL will then deliver two packages. The first with your new passport and the second with the cancelled one. It takes about three weeks since the new system was introduced around about Christmas.

I managed to mess it up by not being here for the delivery several times, so it was sent back. I had not looked at messages on my mobile and would have seen the advance notice of the delivery and the messengers attempts to get hold of me. It has taken an extra 10 days. So, now it is quick but not fail safe.

I called them and asked if it could be sent to a UK address. They take our home and mobile phone numbers so know where we are applying from, also we have to give where WE live and not a proxy in our application. So sending it to a family member I learned is not allowed and an application may be turned down for doing so. Otherwise I would have had the resend to my sister to give to my niece who is here next week.

It is easy now, but short cutting as Brian E suggests is now risky.

Start here Roz: