Her Majesty’s Passport Office is the sole distributor of British passports across the country, and are the main office for renewing your passport. The best way to speak to the Passport Office is on the helpline number below. The HM Passport Office phone number is open Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Passport Office Phone Number:
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The most likely reason for you needing to call the HM Passport Office number is to obtain a UK passport. However, the Passport Office helpline also deals with lost and stolen passports, renewing your passport, or helping you upgrade a child’s passport to an adult one.
You will need a British passport for a variety of different reasons. You can apply for a British passport if you are a British citizen, or a citizen of an overseas British territory. You can also apply for a passport if you are a British citizen that lives overseas.
British passports are usually valid for 10 years for adults, provided they were issued when you were over the age of 16. Child passports are usually only valid for 5 years.
Common HM Passport Office Questions
Why can’t I get a British passport?
There are some cases where you may be denied a British passport. These may include times when an arrest warrant has been issued in your name for a crime you may be suspected of. You may also be denied a passport if the UK government, the United Nations or the European Union has granted an order which restricts your travel out of the country. Lastly, if you are on bail, you may be refused a passport or have your existing passport taken away.
It’s important to remember that while the British passport is in your name, it is the property of the government and they can choose to seize your documentation at any time.
Can I become a British citizen?
If you weren’t born a British citizen, there are a number of different ways in which you can apply for a British passport. The process for this has some strict criteria, but you can normally apply if you meet the following criteria.
You must be at least 18 years old, and have lived in the UK for at least five years before the date of your application.
You also must not have spent more than 450 days outside of the UK in that period.
You will also have had to have spent at least 276 days in the UK in the last 12 months.
You must be of ‘good character’ and not had any recent additions to your criminal record.
You must be clear of any immigration offences. This can mean lying to the Home Office, over claiming on benefits, refusing to leave when asked etc.
You’ll also have to continue to reside in the UK, and have to have shown knowledge of the English language as well as pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test.
If you’re from outside the European Economic Area, you will have had to have ‘settlement’ for the last 12 months.
Passport interview process
If you are applying for your first adult passport, then it may not be as simple as calling the helpline number above and submitting a form. Usually, when you are going through this process you may be invited to attend a short interview at one of the many UK passport offices scattered across the country.
If you have been requested to attend this interview, then you must do so. It is a compulsory meeting where you will be asked a series of questions to prove your identity before a passport is issued. The interview will be set for a time and place that is close to you, and should take no longer than 30 minutes.
You may also be requested to attend the Passport Office during another type of application. You’re able to book an appointment either online or using the helpline number.
If you’re renewing your passport, of if you’ve held an adult passport in the past, then you may be eligible to ‘fast-track’ your application by using one of the premium application types. You can select between a premium 1-day passport service for emergencies, or a fast-track 1-week passport service for those other times where you don’t wish to wait.
Passport office targets for passport enquiries
HM Passport Office has set some clear goals in relation to how quickly they should process and complete any passport applications that are submitted. They frequently publish their performance so that you can see how they are improving in their customer service and support procedures.
Every month, the Passport Office aim to deliver 9 out of 10 passport applications within their target time. This is further broken down to an aim of delivering 99.5% of straight-forward passport applications within 10 working days.
Where the passport application isn’t ‘straight-forward’, and the passport office needs to request some more information, the target is to process 93% of applications within 29 working days.
When you have paid extra for a faster service, the Passport Office aim to deliver 99.5% of premium 1 day applications within four hours. They also aim to deliver the same percentage of fast-track 1 week applications within 7 days.
One of the metrics in place for the Passport Office is to reach a milestone of above 90% in customer satisfaction. The Passport Office is also in charge of detecting and taking measures against passport fraud.
Every five years, a new passport design is launched by the Passport Office, with the latest delivered in November 2015. The design for the most recent version is based upon the idea of the ‘Creative United Kingdom’ and includes icons such as William Shakespeare and Charles Babbage. These new passports were first circulated in December of 2015.
The design changes affect only the internals of the passport document, and any new design often comes with some vastly upgraded security features, including advanced UV printing and safeguards against tampering.
The new design should not be a reason to apply for a new passport, and should only be requested if your old passport is lost or stolen, or if you naturally need to renew yours.
HM Passport Office postal address
Should you need to contact Passport Office for any reason, you can write to:
HM Passport Office
PO Box 767