Four-and-a-half million Brits could have their summer holiday plans scuppered if they don't check their passports today.
Today (9 May) is the deadline for 10-week passport renewals for anyone wanting to jet abroad when kids start to break up for summer on or around 18 July.
Anyone with an out-of-date passport would need to make sure they order new documents today or risk not receiving their new documentation in time for schools’ upcoming summer break.
A report in The Mirror points to lengthy delays in passport services and notes that demands for insurance have doubled in recent months.
Passport Office figures seen by the paper show that nearly 7% of the UK’s total population will own passports due to expire before July 18.
Today has now been dubbed ‘Passport Renewal Day’. Since April last year, the Passport Office has been advising people to allow 10 weeks for their new passport to arrive, but also notes that documents may come quicker.
Speaking to the paper, Graham Ward-Lush, head of travel at Co-op Insurance, said: “Many of us won’t have had a proper summer holiday since 2019 and we know that millions of Brits all over the country are eagerly anticipating this year’s getaway, particularly as most travel restrictions have now been lifted.
“But with many passports having been lying in a drawer for the past two years, we’re urging travellers to check the expiration date on their own passports and also any family member’s today.”
He added: “Many families in England and Wales will be looking to get away at the end of July, which means May 9th is a good deadline to set yourself in order to ensure that new documents arrive back in time.
“There can’t be a more heart-breaking scenario than unearthing a passport the night before travel, only to realise that it is out of date.”
It’s against the law to travel without a valid passport and Brits are now required by many European countries to have three months validity left on their passports as of the day they leave their holiday destination.
Ward-Lush noted that online passport renewals cost £75.50 while postal renewals will set you back £85 by post.
Online renewals are done via the government’s online service and postal instructions can be found on the Post Office’s check and send service.
A HM Passport Office spokesperson told LADbible: "Since April 2021, we have been advising people to allow up to ten weeks when applying for their British passport as more than 5 million people delayed applying due to the pandemic.
"We urge people who need a new passport to apply for one as soon as possible, with the vast majority of all passports applications are being dealt with well within 10 weeks.
“To deal with this demand, we have increased staff numbers by 500 since April 2021. This has helped us to handle more applications than ever before, with more than one million passport applications processed in March 2022.”
They added: “The passport advice line is being delivered by Teleperformance which is in the process of recruiting additional staff to better service customer queries.”
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