Passports are tricky things, we can’t tell you the amount of stories we’ve heard from people who realize they’ve left theirs at home the day they were meant to travel, missing flights because they couldn’t find it, or realising it’s out of date the a week before you leave!!
Passport image via @ Nathan17
We don’t want your holiday to be ruined by something like that, so we wanted to answer some of your most asked passport questions in one handy place. First thing is, it is your responsibility to keep your passport safe and in good order.
It usually takes around three weeks to renew a passport and the price changes depending on how fast you request it. You need to bear this in mind when making a booking and ensure your passport will have arrived well before you leave.
If your passport is going to expire soon, you should think about applying for a new one early. Some countries require a minimum of two years validity on your passport from the date you arrive home.
Our rule guideline is that you have validity of at least six months left in your passport after your return date. If you have specific questions you should contact the consulate or embassy of the country you are travelling to. You can search here for UK guidelines on passport requirements by country.
It’s a good idea to leave copies of your passport, insurance details, ticket details and itinerary with friends and family at home too.
Lost: If you’ve lost your passport, or believe it has been stolen you’ll need to report it to the local police so you can get a copy of the report. You will need that to get replacement passport papers and for insurance reasons. Get in touch with the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate too.
If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, you will need to fill in an LS01 form (available from the local embassy/consulate.) The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will issue you with replacement documents to get back to the UK.
If you need to travel urgently, it is possible to get an emergency passport but you will need to show some document verifying your identity and a copy of a police report if it has been stolen. There is a fee involved in this too, so be prepared to pay the price. And not all countries accept an Emergency Travel Document (ETD.)
Similarly if you’ve reported your passport is missing to an embassy or consulate and you find it tucked away in a bag or under a pillow, you won’t be able to use it, as it will have been electronically cancelled. Be warned, if you try to use it, you may be stopped by the authorities.
In addition, whatever happens everything related to passports takes time, e.g. renewing or reporting it as lost, so your travel plans might be disrupted.
My passport says Miss, but I am a Mrs
As long as the gender on your booking corresponds to the gender on your passport, there should be no problem in being able to fly. Being labelled incorrectly as Ms/Mrs or Miss won’t change your booking. UK and most other passports do not actually state the title on travel documents. However, if this is not the case for you, please contact our team immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I got married and am in the process of changing my name
Your booking must be in the name that is on your passport. DirectGov has some sound advice. It says if you need to renew your passport it might be better to get one earlier in your maiden name and change it afterwards. Most travel companies won’t allow you on board if your name is different to your passport even if you have your marriage certificate with you.
We would urge anyone in any doubt about any aspect of their passport to contact the Foreign Office for up to date information.