Have you been waiting weeks for your renewed passport to come back?
MoneySavingExpert published a slightly worrying article this week about the problems currently facing the Passport Office.
For the last few months, the Passport Office website has been advising people not to apply for passports unless they need to travel urgently. It gave the impression that standard applications were not being processed, but that was not true. However, many people decided to delay their application based on this guidance.
It now appears that there is, in many cases, currently a 2+ month wait to renew a passport. This is not happening to everyone, oddly, although it isn’t clear why some are being expedited and others not.
There is no Premium or Fast Track service at present either. I used Premium last year when I renewed mine and it was surprisingly good – I booked a slot a couple of days before for the early morning, popped round to the office, handed over my papers, went into work as usual and popped back in the evening to pick it up. It wasn’t cheap but, as I had travel pencilled in for every couple of weeks until renewal, I didn’t want to risk any delays.
There is also no interview service, which is necessary for most people applying for their first adult passport.
Remember that your travel insurance will not reimburse you if you have to cancel a holiday due to not having the necessary documents. This has not been a problem to date because the Foreign Office guidance on avoiding ‘non-essential travel’ triggers insurance payments in most cases, but this is due to be lifted in the next few days.