Should I renew my passport whilst in lockdown? Paul Lewis answers

Whilst the UK is locked down, Paul Lewis advises whether now is the right time to renew your passport

Close-Up Of Passport On Map

Cynthia’s passport ran out in 2019. “As I had no planned trips, I thought it might be simpler to wait to renew it until after Brexit was achieved, rather than risk having to buy a second one when that happened. Now, 21 months later, I still have no trips planned and it looks like we won’t be able to travel overseas for a while yet. So, should I get one now or wait for things to settle down?”

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Cynthia, there is no point in paying for a new passport if it will just sit in a drawer for months or even years. Remember that many countries — including now the whole of the EU — insist you have at least six months left on a passport before you will be allowed into the country. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK locked down, we do not know when we will be able to travel freely again or when it will be sensible to do so. So I would wait until it seems likely you will be able to plan a foreign trip and then begin the process of applying. Renewing a passport costs £75.50 and the Home Office says it should take three weeks to get a new one. But allow plenty of time in case there are delays. And keep the old one to send back with your applications.


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QUESTIONS? Send yours to Paul.Lewis@radiotimes.com – Paul cannot answer questions personally but he will address them on his page in Radio Times