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UK passport renewal


sid
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My UK passport expires in four months and I've been online to renew it. There is a specific page for UK citizens who are resident overseas. It's quite straightforward once you've got over the shock (£86 plus £19.86 courier charge) but I came a cropper with the photograph. Thinking that a digitally transmitted version with a code (as used for French driving licences for example) would be a smart move I used a photo booth in a local SuperU only to discover on returning home that the code didn't comply with UK requirements (another Brexit change perhaps?)

Anyway, in the end I resorted to making my own photo and uploading that.

So, this is just a warning to any other clever clogs out there!
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Piece of cake, take photo, save and upload[:P]

Just be prepared to have photo rejected on some flimsy basis.  We were told that OH's photo only "showed the face" ie only part of the head.  But you can "insist" that you want to use the photo and, as long as you can give an explanation, the photo is then accepted.

OH explained that, at his age, he'd lost some hair and what was left was white and didn't show on the photo.  No problem after that[:D]

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They rejected mine saying eyes weren't open, replied eyes were open and that's the way I was made. 

Photo was then accepted and now have my new passport.
I applied for it late spring when the government said there was a great backlog in passport applications and don't apply, as mine expired in December and we were going to France in September I was not going to have any hassle with a passport due to expire in a couple of months. The renewal took two weeks and that included them rejecting an earlier photo.

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mint wrote the following post at 20 Nov 2020 11:17:

Piece of cake, take photo, save and upload.

Just be prepared to have photo rejected on some flimsy basis. We were told that OH's photo only "showed the face" ie only part of the head. But you can "insist" that you want to use the photo and, as long as you can give an explanation, the photo is then accepted.

OH explained that, at his age, he'd lost some hair and what was left was white and didn't show on the photo. No problem after that.

Oh you are getting so bolshie in your advancing years (smiley face)

Brilliant description of what to do .. I shall save this ..
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£19.86 courier charge !!!!!

Someone, somewhere is ........... having a laugh, are they not?

I just had a box delivered from the UK. Weight 10.6kgs. Cost to me £12.99.

The trouble is that you can’t challenge the nonsense of a charge like that. Five to ten quid maybe. Twenty is outrageous.

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Mint, yes, I should have gone down that DIY route, I just thought I was being tech-clever!

My wife's uploaded photo was rejected initially because her hair colour does not stand out particularly well against a light background. I insisted that's how it looks. Unless we can use a darker coloured background it's never going to work.

Gardian, yes a whopping charge and although my wife and I applied at the same time there's no option the share the return courier. I did put both old passports in the same envelope to send to Durham, thereby saving another €8.70

Digressing slightly on charges, I looked to purchase an enamel Poppy badge in late October only to find that the badge had a £14 Royal Mail delivery charge! That sum certainly wasn't going into the BL fund so I declined.
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Sid, if it's any consolation, in the "old days" when you had to send everything to Paris, the cost of the passport was higher than 86 quid.  If memory serves, it was £112 plus, of course, the postage.

So Sid, you and Mrs Sid had a bargain!  There, doesn't that take out some of the sting?[:D]

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https://www.identite.photos is a useful web site for photos for all official web sites.

There is a free app you can download to your smartphone/tablet. The app has a head-positioning frame so you get the head the correct size. You then have the options of just accepting the digital image you have taken (no charge); you can pay 5€ and they will confirm it conforms to requirements and send a digital set (or 6€ and they will print the photos).

According to https://www.identite.photos/format-photos-didentite-36-pays-de-leurope/ they are valid for UK passports.
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No problem renewing my wife's passport. It took five weeks, and over two more to get the old one back, but we were not in a hurry.

My only problem was the photo. My hands are too unsteady, so I had to rest them on a chair back, as we gave the tripod away years ago. It was hard to find a suitable plain light coloured background in the house, and there is none outside. Inside, providing lighting without shadows on the face or in the background was difficult.

Using all the available lights in the lounge and shining a floodlight from the garage onto the ceiling eventually gave enough soft light to get a picture I thought was OK, but the website software said her mouth was open.

I added a remark that it was not open, submitted it, and it was accepted.

When my PP comes up for renewal in a couple of years I think I'll rig up a screen in the garden as a background.

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Mint, Yes! Now that you mention it, it was expensive, we were here in 2011 and the application to Paris was, I think, nearly €300. Ha ha ! Bargain!

We didn't want the new blue ones; it'll obvious as soon as we show it that we're not "European" !

Pomme, thanks for the link.

Nomoss, I found an ideal background, but my wife's hair is... erm, how shall I say...lighter (!) than in her younger years, so it didn't exactly stand out. It looks better than on the 2011 passport though. We'll see whether it gets through.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Just an update: the new photos and application were approved and the new passports produced quickly once our old ones had arrived at their office.

Application online 19/11

Old passport requested 20/11

Approved 27/11

Despatched 27/11

Received here a week later.

So, quite impressed with the service at the passport office but disappointed in the time taken from despatch to receipt here when you recall that the courier cost was £19.86

However, looking at the tracking ( DHL) the transportation only took 2 days, so there was an unaccounted delay from passport office to courier receipt.

I wonder if I'll need to renew again! I can't imagine I'll be doing much travelling by then !

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 You will have to renew if you live in France, especially post brexit. You will need it for paperwork in France.

I am so glad that they came down in price. They were at one point 35% more when applying from abroad. For a family of four that was A LOT MORE!

Please check all the details are correct on your new passports, they messed up one of ours completely.

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Idun, that last remark of mine was a bit tongue-in-cheek, really meaning "Will I still be alive !". I'm gathering years faster than ever and I'll be into my 80s by then.

Last time we renewed (2011) it was very expensive, as you and Mint have pointed out. That application was via the embassy in Paris.

Happily the details are correct, but the photos look grim.
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Idun, I hadn't heard of this free passport but I've just checked the government website and it's not a blanket concession for 91-year-olds, it is only for those born before 2 September 1929 (yes, 91 now but 92 next year and so on). So the date doesn't roll forward, it was introduced for those who were 10 years old when WW2 started.

Just when you built my hopes up with an incentive too!
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Oh, another update on passport delivery. I've just had notification that our old passports are being delivered today, again by DHL. I had assumed that these would come by normal postal service.

So, the £19.86 courier charge is more reasonable as we get 2 deliveries for the charge, the new and the old passports separately.

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It's 5 years since my renewal needed to be done. At that time, old and new passports arrived via Facteur Fred (needing to be signed for) but on separate days. When the first one was delivered, FFred assured me that the other one would be delivered the following day. And indeed it was. He even knew which way round the passports would arrive - new vs old (though I can't remember now).

It amused me that he was so well-versed in the operation of the British passport renewal procedure and was able to pre-empt any concerns I might have. [8-|]

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  • 3 months later...
I decided to renew my UK passport (expires next month). In addition to the £105+ fee, there is the little matter of getting something like 34 colour photocopies (every page, including the blank ones, of my two other passports).

OK, that won't break the bank, but it's a pain (I don't have a colour printer) and will have to do (at least) a 14-16 km round trip to get them done.

Then there's the small matter of posting them, together with the old passport. That will be another 14-16 km trip to the post office.

I reckon the total cost will end up close to what I would have to pay to renew BOTH my other passports, thankfully not necessary for 5&9 years respectively).
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