Renewing a Child Passport

How do I renew a child passport?

  • Jens headshot 2:6:23
  • The Travel Mum

Renewing a child passport is a pretty straight forward process, yet a daunting one if you haven’t had to do it before. People are always messaging us for help with this, often when it has been left a little bit too late. The important thing is to be on the ball with your family’s passport expiry dates. A child’s passport lasts 5 years, but for many destinations you will need 3-6 months validity remaining to enter.

The average process is said to take 10 weeks, however this has been known to be much longer in peak times (usually just before the summer when everyone realises they need to do it).

We travel often, so didn’t have a safe 10 week window to renew. For this reason we had to use the fast track service. In this post I will cover both the routine and urgent routes.

Applying for your first ever baby or childs passport?

Renewing a child’s passport | Routine process

When do I need to renew my child’s passport?

Ideally you want to start the process as soon as possible taking into account it could take 10 weeks or longer to get the new passport.  It is recommended that you don’t book any travel until you have the new passport. If you have a holiday planned check what validity is required on your child’s passport to enter the country.  You may be able to squeeze in the final trip prior to applying for a new one.

Can I renew a child’s passport online?

You can renew a child’s passport online or by post. Head to this page to start the process.

An online application currently costs £53.50.

A postal application currently costs £64. You can get the paper application form from a post office offering passport services.

Taking a child’s passport photo

If you are applying online this will need to be a digital photo. You can go to a normal booth and get a code for the photo, which can then be added to the passport application. Alternatively you can take one with your own device, assuming it meets all the below requirements.

The digital photo must:

  • contain nothing other than your child
  • have a plain light coloured background
  • not have ‘red eye’

If you’re using a photo taken on your own device, include their head, shoulders and upper body. Do not crop your photo – it will be done for you.

In your photo your child must:

  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera (if under 6 they don’t have to be looking directly at the camera)
  • have a plain expression and your mouth closed (if over age 6)
  • have your eyes open and visible
  • not have hair in front of your eyes
  • not have a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have anything covering your face
  • not have any shadows on your face or behind you

If you are applying via post, you will need to send two photos with the application. This will likely need to be countersigned.


Countersigning a child’s passport photo

If your child is under 12 and isn’t recognisable from their original passport photo, you need to get someone to countersign the back of their new passport photo. If they are over 12 and recognisable from their previous photo, this isn’t required.

Your counter signatory must:

  • have known you for at least 2 years
  • be able to identify you, for example they’re a friend, neighbour or colleague.
  • be ‘a person of good standing in their community’ or work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession
  • they cannot be a relative.
  • they cannot live at the same address.

The process is a little different for online applications. You will give the details of the person who is to confirm the child’s identity. They will then receive an email to complete the process.

What documents do I need for renewing my child’s passport?

  • The child’s old passport
  • A digital photo or two printed photos (that meet the requirements)
  • The paper application form if applying by post.



Renewing a child’s passport | Fast track process

If you need a passport more urgently for whatever reason, there is the option to use the fast track service. This is ideal in that you get the new passport within 7 days, however it comes at a cost!

How do I renew a child passport fast?!

Get a passport quickly by using the fast track service which you can start here. Your child’s new passport will arrive within a week.

You may have heard about the online premium renewal service where you can get your new passport at the appointment. However this is only for Adult passport renewals.

To use the fast track service you will need to:

  1. Book an appointment at a passport office and pay online
  2. fill in a paper application form and get 2 printed photos. Remember to read above about countersigning. Update: Some passport offices no longer require the paper form. This will be made clear when applying.
  3. take your completed form (if needed), photos and old passport to your appointment

It costs:

  • £126 for a child passport (or £137 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport)

You can use this service to:

  • renew an old child passport
  • get a new child passport

There are Passport Centres in:

  • Belfast
  • Durham
  • Glasgow
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Newport
  • Peterborough

How do I arrange the appointment?

You can book an appointment from 3 weeks in advance. These can get booked up quickly at peak times. We were able to get one for the following day whilst doing this process in January.

You can book an appointment via this link. 

Your child doesn’t need to go to the appointment. Leo was at school during the appointment we booked for him, so his dad attended without him. They will essentially take your completed form, photos and old passport, your childs new passport is then sent in the post.

Simple, right?!

If you have further questions about renewing a child passport you can check out the gov article here.

Prices may have changed since posting this article, accurate prices will be available on the website linked above!