How To Renew a UK Passport Online, Sending Old One Back

A plane on the beach

Before you plan your travels, you need to make sure that your UK passport is up to date. Fortunately, when it is time for renewal, you do not need to go down to the passport office or the post office in person, or faff around applying by post. You can renew your UK passport quickly and relatively easily online.

Attention! As the information can change, always check the date of the article and official websites for updates

What Do I Need To Renew My UK Passport Online?

In order to go through the online process you will need:

  1. Your old passport (with details including your passport number).
  2. A card to pay for your passport renewal online.
  3. A smartphone or digital camera.
  4. A friend of relative to take your picture. (A selfie will not be usable for official purposes.)
  5. A plain white background to take your photo against. (Hint: a white wall, door, or the side of a white wardrobe would work well. If none of these is available, perhaps you could pin a large piece of white paper to a wall or door to stand in front of.)

Where Can I Renew Online? What is the Process?

To renew your passport, simply head to and click on the button marked ‘apply now’. You will then be guided through the application process and asked to enter contact details and information from your current passport.

Providing that you are careful and enter the information correctly, the main stumbling block for applicants is providing a suitable photo with their submission. Once you have taken a photo, upload this. A preliminary check will be undertaken – if you get a tick, you can continue on to submit your application.

UK passportIt is important to note, however, that a photo tick at this stage does not necessarily mean that your photo was accepted. It may later be rejected on a number of grounds. (For example, a relative of my husband had to submit another photo as her mouth was very slightly open on the first image. However, while this caused a slight delay, the process was still relatively straightforward.)

Continuing with the online process, you will submit your payment and be given a reference number and the address of the Passport Office to which you should return your old Passport. Be sure to include your reference number on the envelope and to post this as soon as possible, as they cannot process your renewal application until they get your old Passport back.

How Can I Make Sure My Photo is Accepted?

To increase the chances that your photo is accepted and everything goes smoothly:

  • Make sure you have a clear, white background.
  • Make sure your eyes are open, face is passive and mouth closed.
  • Make sure there are no shadows or glare on the image.

How Much Will It Cost To Renew My UK Passport?

It will cost £75.50 to renew your passport online – down from £85 if you fill out a paper form. If you need your passport urgently, you can pay more to get your new passport more quickly.

How Long Will It Take To Get My New Passport?

When you apply online, you can expect to get your new passport within three weeks, though it will often be a lot quicker. (I, for example, got my new passport in only six days or so.) Though of course you can expect delays if you do not promptly return your old passport, if your photo is not accepted, or there are any complications with your renewal.

For more information from the government about your passport, or passport renewal, visit

If you are currently overseas, check out this page

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