passport cover

If you’re planning your holiday abroad don’t forget one of the most essential travelling items – your child’s passport.

Since 1998 children under the age of 16 can no longer be added to their parent’s passport and are required by international law to have their own passport to travel abroad.

Child passports are valid for 5 years and are required by law up until the age of 16.  This means that even if your child is aged 15 and their passport is due to expire, you will still need to apply for a child passport to cover for the remaining length of time until they are eligible for an adult’s 10 year passport.

How much will a child passport cost?

You will be charged £46 for a standard passport service or £54.75 using the Post Office check and send service.  You can opt for a one-week Fast Track service at £87.  If you are simply renewing an existing child’s passport there is also an option for a one-day Premium service which will cost you £106.50*

*prices correct at January 2013

How to apply

You can get your child passport application form either

  1. from a Post Office branch that offers the Passport Check & Send service
  2. from the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) online and they will post it to you
  3. by calling the Passport Adviceline 0300 222 0000 and asking IPS to post it to you.
  4. by completing the application online, in which case IPS will print out the completed form and send it to you to sign and return with supporting documents

Who needs to sign the application?

The child’s parents or carer with parental responsibility will need to sign the application form.

Additionally if the child is 12 or over they will need to sign it.  If your child is 11 or under they should not sign it but you will need to get it countersigned by someone who has known you, the carer, for at least 2 years.  This person must be over 18, hold a current British or Irish passport (they’ll need to write their passport number on the form).  They should also work in a recognised profession or otherwise have good standing in the community.  They will need to sign & date the photograph to verify the child’s identity and state ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [Miss, Mr or other title and full name of the child]‘

What documents will I need?

You will need to supply your child’s full birth or adoption certificate showing the parents’ details and one of the following:

  • the mother’s UK birth certificate, or her Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation, or her passport that was valid at the time of the child’s birth
  • the father’s UK birth certificate, or his Home Office certificate of registration or naturalisation, or his passport that was valid at the time of the child’s birth and the parents’ marriage certificate

Passport photos
passport photos for children

The rules surrounding passport photos are fairly stringent and we have included a link to detailed guidelines in our useful links below.  The best advice is to go to a professional photographer who is used to taking passport photographs rather than trying to do your own in a photo booth only to have them rejected and delay your passport application.

How long will it take?

The short answer to this is up to 3 weeks.  For a more detailed explanation see our useful links guide below.

Your experience

Personally because filling in passport applications can be a bit of a minefield I prefer to use the check and send service to be sure there is going to be no hold up with the application, including the photos.  I have tried the DIY route only to have photos rejected and applications delayed!  Do you do the DIY route or get it all checked out?

Useful Links
Find your nearest check and send post office (enter your postcode and select from the drop down)
IPS online passport application
Who can countersign your application?
Guide to passport photos
How long will my application take?

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