Service now available for citizens aged 16 and over
The government has expanded its online passport renewal service to include all UK citizens aged 16 and above.
Previously, the service has only been available to citizens aged 26 and upwards. But now the roughly 300,000 16- to 25-year-olds that renew their passport each year will also be able to do so online, in a process which HM Passport Office (HMPO) claims takes about 10 minutes.
The digital renewal service includes the option to use a photo taken in a booth or shop, which can upload the picture directly and supply users with a unique code enabling them to use the photo as part their application. This, HMPO said, is particularly useful for the 30% of users that its research shows need multiple attempts to take a compliant photo themselves – as well as the 74% of men and 84% of women that are embarrassed by their current photograph.
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Immigration minister Brandon Lewis said: “This service makes it easier than ever before to renew your passport and I am delighted that we are now able to offer it to 16- to 25-year-olds. We are harnessing technology to transform our services.”
He added: “We want to ensure we have a modern and easy-to-use service for our millions of passport holders and applicants.”
HMPO issues about 6 million passports each year. The organisation claims that its research finds that 63% of citizens would rather renew their passport online.