You might have been one of the one million UK residents to receive a text message reminding you to check if your passport needs renewing ahead of Brexit. If not, the current advice that your time is running out if you need to travel right after Brexit is likely to cause some alarm. Here are the new rules explained and how you can get your passport sorted.
In the event of a no deal Brexit, new passport validity rules will apply for travel to most EU countries (see full list below).
These new rules are the following:
- Travellers will need to have at least six months left on their passport.
- Any extra months on a passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months needed
Brexit passport changes: In the event of a no deal Brexit, new passport validity rules will apply
This second rule is the one that’s causing some confusion.
Basically, under existing UK passport renewal laws, if you renewed your passport before it expired, you’d get up to an extra nine ‘bonus’ months added on there.
But those extra months will become irrelevant if the UK leaves without a deal.
So you need to check when your passport was renewed and when it expires - the six months you thought you had might not actually be relevant come November 1.
How can I check if I need to renew?
To check if you need to renew yours, you can use THIS TOOL made by the Government.
If you’re planning to travel shortly after Brexit, need to do this soon - renewals can take up to three weeks, which would take you right up to the Brexit deadline.
You should also expect the full waiting period due to the inevitably large number of renewals being processed.
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What if I’ve left it too late?
If you need to, you can apply to get a passport urgently HERE.
There are different ways to apply for an urgent passport, all of which will likely cost you.
If you’ve already applied for a passport but are concerned it won’t arrive in time, you can upgrade your application to urgent status in exceptional circumstances - see details at the link above.
Which countries are included in the new rules?
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Vatican City
The new rules will not apply for travel to Ireland.
What if there’s a deal?
If a deal is achieved, your passport will still work normally.
Freedom of movement will remain until the end of the transition period, which would likely wrap up around the end of 2020.
If Brexit is delayed past October 31, you have more time to get your passport sorted as the system will remain as it is.