Frequently Asked Questions
Please note: Following the UK government's scrapping of National ID cards in 2010, these can no longer be used as photographic ID when travelling with us.
Passengers must hold valid ID with a photograph i.e. International Passport or EU National ID. EU National IDs must be valid for entry into the country of intended destination. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid photo ID. British Citizens must hold a valid 10-year passport. Please note that certain destinations insist on at least 6 months validity from the return date. UK Citizens can check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for passport, visa and health information, at www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo. Other nationalities should check with their own governments.
It is also your responsibility to check whether you need a visa to enter your destination country.
For British Citizens, as of 5th October 1998, under 16 year olds are required to have their own passport. Children already included on their parents' passports are not affected by this change and can continue to travel on these documents until they reach the age of 16 years or the parents' passport expires or is amended. In order for a child to travel on a parents' passport, the parent must be travelling with the child. Although family passports are still valid, a spouse who is not the main holder must have his/her own passport when travelling alone.
For domestic/Channel Islands journeys passengers must present one of the following forms of valid photographic ID:
UK Citizens can check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for passport, visa and health information, at www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo. Other nationalities should check with their own governments.
Visit the DirectGov website for detailed, up-to-date information on passport validity, renewing and applying for passports. If you're a British citizen, you need a full, 10-year British passport for all holidays featured. Ordinarily holiday companies and the UK Passport Office suggest that passports should be valid from at least 6 months after you return. Each country, however, sets its own rules covering this. More information can be found from the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit.
The DirectGov website provides information on passport validity, renewing and applying for passports.
It takes six weeks to get your first adult passport, and you may need to attend an interview in order to protect your identity. If you need to apply for your first passport please try not to make any travel arrangements until you have received your passport. For more information, visit the DirectGov website. For current processing times you can phone the UK Passport Office recorded message on 0870 521 0410. If you hold a Commonwealth or other passport, you should phone the consulate of the country you plan to visit. Please note that the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) can no longer provide a Fast Track service for first-time applicants, however those who are renewing their passports do not require an interview, and can still use the Fast Track service.
If you are an adult (16 or over) and you need to apply for a passport for the first time, or if your name was previously included in your parent’s passport, you must attend an interview with the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) in person to confirm your identity. This new process does not apply to you if you held your own passport as a child, or if you simply need to renew your passport. These procedures are in place to help stop fraudulent passport applications and prevent identity theft.
IPS has throughout the UK. In some remote locations, if you live more than one hour from an interview office, you may be able to take advantage of secure videoconferencing facilities. This will allow you to be interviewed by visiting a partner organisation, such as local council premises. For more information, please visit the DirectGov website.
The whole process will take approximately 30 minutes, including an interview of 10-20 minutes. At the interview you will be asked basic – not deeply private – information about yourself that can be checked to confirm that you are who you say you are.
During this initial introduction not all first-time applicants will be called to attend an interview. If you are called to attend an interview, it is compulsory and you will receive a letter from the IPS asking you to book an appointment. If you do not receive a letter, you are not required to attend an interview.
Yes. First time adult customers are able to do this by using the standard application form. Applications can be sent directly by post or by using the Check&Send service available at selected branches of the Post Office and Worldchoice travel agents.
Applicants who have particular requirements should make this known when arranging their appointment. Examples include customers requiring language support, or customers who need to be accompanied by a helper or an interpreter (which will be provided at IPS expense) or, in the case of 16 and 17 year olds, a parent or guardian. The interview offices have also been designed for disabled access, and to aid those with visual impairments and hearing difficulties.
Please visit the DirectGov website for further information.