Renewing a Passport

A friend of ours has just had to renew her passport under the new scheme of sending everything to the embassy in Paris. She was totally amazed to be asked to provide on a separate piece of paper, included in the application, all her details of her credit card including the security code.

You have to put on the envelope “Passport Application”, so presumably it will be common knowledge that this information is included.

As she thought this was unsafe she had to take out a money order, which costs more and is more effort.

As Brits abroad are being asked for extortionate fees to renew their passports, this is taking things too far.

I rang my bank this morning (CA Britline)to see if they would consider this dangerous practice and the immediate response was yes, but then the young lady rang the credit card services, who refused to give a definitive answer. So, if your card details are stolen using this system, it seems you will have to take on your bank as well for any losses incurred.

I have been advised to call the embassy, so I am going to use the suggestions to improve the service on the Embassy’s site.

Has anyone else recognised this potential threat to their card safety?

I renewed mine and sent it all off 'Lettre récommandé"! Cost a few euros but no problem. I also paid over the odds to get my paperwork back. I have NO confidence in the french postal system whatsoever!!

I go to Paris for work from time to time and went to the office to renew hubby’s passport, I actually found the process functioned well ambeit a little expensive and having turned in the forms, had them checked, paid up it was only about 10 days later that his ne passport arrived.

I agree with the OP I wouldn’t put any details in the post though - not safe at all

I agree. I recently had to renew my son’s passport. Not only was I appaulled at the bad service provided for the cost, but at the silly idea of having to provided all these financial details and then label the envelope Passport Application. I decided to send mine ‘suivi’ so that it would be less likely to be intercepted. I feel that our embassy is holding us to ransom in a manner of speaking because we are not supposed to go anywhere else for our passports, and if they have expired then the option of getting one in the UK is impossible. I don’t know what you are supposed to do if you don’t have one of the two credit cards they list, and I am shocked that you need to pay a premium rate + international rate phone charge to speak to them. I can’t believe they outsourced Passport Enquiries to a private company.

I’m looking into getting a Portugese passport when my British one runs out (my g.father was portugese) I feel that annoyed about it!

As most of us make return journeys to UK, the best way is to renew when you are actually there. You can renew your passport when you want, so even if you lose several months, you are actually better off.

Because the charges are so steep there are a number of stories circulating on how to circumvent the system.
The most popular is to use a U.K holding address, Preferably some one with the same surname, Complete the online application, print out, put in an envelope addressed as requested, put into an outer cover addressed to your co conspiritor in the UK who then stamps the application and pops it into the Post. The Passport office will then send the reprinted application form to your UK address, who then forwards it to you so you can sign and add your photos…you get the picture? for a family the savings can mount up too!

it cost us £20 chasing up our daughters passport in phone charges.

As you have to pre-load the card and you have to use the rate of exchange applicable on the day you apply, you wouldn’t know how much to put on. Can you use this via your
french bank or does it have to come from the UK?

If you do not make much progress with the Embassy, you could consider a Prepaid Credit Card to limit your risk and potential losses.

I have e-mailed on the embassy website in the section on improving their service.
Is this something all members of SFN network could do as a pressure group?