How can I get a passport for my baby?

Long gone are the days when you could add a child to their parent’s passport. Now, if you want to take your little bundle of joy on an overseas trip, you’re going to need to apply for a passport of their own.

Assuming you are located within the UK when you apply (there are different rules if you live, and are applying for a passport from, abroad), you can either apply online or using a paper form at the Post Office. Online is cheaper, costing £49 as opposed to £58.50 for a paper application, and avoids the need for a trip to the Post Office with your little one.

How long does it take to get a baby’s first passport?

In most cases, it shouldn’t take longer than three weeks from the date you submit your application until you receive your child’s passport. As always, the Passport Office’s advice is that you should not book any travel arrangements until you have the passport in your hands, however, if you need to travel urgently, you can use the 1-week Fast-Track application service. Fast-Track applications cost £122, though, and can only be made at the Post Office; so if you can use the normal service it’s best to do so.

Who can apply for a child’s first passport?

Someone (it can be anyone) with parental responsibility must make the application and sign the form. As part of the application, you will need to give the name, address, and contact details of both parents. If you are not able to give full details of both parents (e.g. your child is adopted, or you’re the only person named on the birth certificate) enclose a letter with your application explaining the situation.

What are the rules about my baby’s passport photo?

The rules about baby passport photos and child passport photos are just as strict as those for adults. Passport Office rules say that the photos must:

• measure 45 millimetres (mm) high by 35mm wide
• not be a cropped version of a larger photograph
• be printed to a professional standard, on white photo paper, with no border
• be in colour
• and be a clear photo of your child’s face, with nothing and nobody else showing in the photograph

Children under six, though, don’t have to be looking directly at the camera, and it isn’t necessary for children under one to have their eyes open.

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