Getting a passport for a baby in the UK: top tips
16th June 2016
1. Previously the passport office has been really impressively slick. They currently (Easter 2014) have a serious backlog. Lucy’s took precisely the three weeks quoted. My memory is that others came much sooner. They warn some are taking even longer than that so do it as soon as you get the birth certificate.
2. Don’t rely on fast-track. There are very few appointments to be had in busy times and you can’t do one day for a first passport. We declined a mad dash to Liverpool (a mistake in retrospect).
3. Use the Post Office checking system as getting it all perfect is tricksy. We got four sets of forms and got it right on number three.
4. Baby pics are an absolute horror. We use an iPhone and print through an online service that delivers (www.photobox.co.uk). It takes a few days. There are aps that review whether you have met the criteria or not.
5. Once you are in the system you are trapped. The very charming folks at the Irish call centre will answer questions only if you keep your reference number. Don’t lose it! Until it’s printed they can’t tell you much (unless, I guess, there is a problem).
6. For love or money you can’t get through to Peterborough directly…. The Irish team submits an email for you. There is a 48 hour call-back service. They leave it to the 48th hour.
7. Allegedly there is an upgrade process to rush some passports. They will not reveal the criteria for this. If anyone knows, do share.
8. It sounds obvious, but the baby really can’t fly internationally without one.