MSE News: Passport backlog: What are your rights?

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If you've sent off for a new passport, you may not get it back in time after it emerged 30,000 are stuck in a backlog...
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Passport backlog: What are your rights?
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  • Caddyman
    Caddyman Posts: 342 Forumite
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    I notice in the article that it does state that passports can be renewed up to nine months before the actual expiry date and up to nine months can be added to your replacement passport additional to the ten year expiry date. This is something that rather conveniently, the media in general don't even bother reporting on.

    I mention this because as a regular traveller, my passport is always in date and on the last three occasions that I have renewed it, I have always done so at least 8 months before it expires. I have a friend who is jumping up and down screaming that she will lose her holiday because she won't get her passport back in time. I have little sympathy, she could have renewed it months ago and didn't. My attitude may seem harsh to some, but unless you are a first time applicant (and I do sympathise with those people) I can't actually see that people who can't keep a basic check on when their current passport expires, particularly have anything to moan about. It's called personal responsibiltiy and having some forethought and if people actually bothered to look at the information booklet supplied with passports, they would know they can renew several months ahead of expiry.

    I suppose some though will use the excuse that they didn't have the money at the time to pay for the passport renewal before its expiry date, but will somehow have found the money to book their holiday up to a year in advance.
  • totallybored
    totallybored Posts: 1,141 Forumite
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    Caddyman wrote: »

    I mention this because as a regular traveller, my passport is always in date and on the last three occasions that I have renewed it, I have always done so at least 8 months before it expires.

    I'm a regular traveller too. However, to travel you need a passport! I use my passport every couple of months and I've just had to wait 6 weeks to get mine back. I didn't have any travel booked in that time but it meant I also was unable to go over to France when I had a week off work. I sent it as soon as I'd returned from a previous trip knowing I didn't have anything booked until July. The passport office was quoting a 3 week turnaround at the time and I would have liked to have used it. I don't think that was an unreasonable expectation.

    Passports also need to be used for ID purposes, I've used mine for many different things such as when I bought my house, ID when getting a new job, ID for crb checks. I hate to think how difficult life is like for the expats in other countries who have waited months and they need their passports for all manner of things that aren't just a weeks holiday to Spain.
  • Caddyman
    Caddyman Posts: 342 Forumite
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    Passports also need to be used for ID purposes, I've used mine for many different things such as when I bought my house, ID when getting a new job, ID for crb checks. I hate to think how difficult life is like for the expats in other countries who have waited months and they need their passports for all manner of things that aren't just a weeks holiday to Spain.

    I don't disagree, but you don't need a passport to get a mortgage or to get a job or to go through a CRB check, but I agree having one does help and is preferable. I'm merely saying that too many people don't think far enough ahead and if they did, they could actually avoid issues. I do at least four long haul flights a year, so it's in my own interests that I keep my own in date. I didn't mention earlier about people who let their passport expire and don't bother renewing until they realise they actually need it, but I suppose that for some people it just doesn't cut the top of their priorities list.

    I agree, the current waiting time is poor and basically the whole system as it is, sucks, but I guess the Governement are just going to have to get a grip on the situation and sort it out. I'm holding my breath on that lol!
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    edited 12 June 2014 at 5:37PM
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    Caddyman wrote: »
    I notice in the article that it does state that passports can be renewed up to nine months before the actual expiry date and up to nine months can be added to your replacement passport additional to the ten year expiry date. This is something that rather conveniently, the media in general don't even bother reporting on.

    I mention this because as a regular traveller, my passport is always in date and on the last three occasions that I have renewed it, I have always done so at least 8 months before it expires.

    There is no need to renew a passport 8-9 months before it expires if you're not planning to travel, it's expiry date is not relevant, your travel date is. You could apply for a passport with 9 months left on it but if you still need it to travel in 6 weeks time you'd still come unstuck.

    Regardless of when my passport expires I always make sure It's renewed at least 3 months before I'm due to travel, sometimes this means it's already expired, sometimes it has a few weeks left, sometimes it has months.

    People who are coming unstuck now are those who have left it 6-8 weeks before they're due to travel to renew their passports, some of those will have 9 months left on them, makes not a jot of difference if they've left it too late.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
  • Caddyman
    Caddyman Posts: 342 Forumite
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    There is no need to renew a passport 8-9 months before it expires, it's expiry date is not relevant, your travel date is.

    Some countries require at least six months remaining time left on the passport on either point of entry/date of leaving for the particular country one is visiting. If you know you are going on holiday seven months ahead of your trip, then just how hard is it to do a basic check on when your passport expires?

    There seems to be some antagonism regarding the fact that some people can't seem to see the point of renewing their passport several months before the expiry date. Whether one likes to see it or not, it can be good practise. Ok, I agree, there is always the 'one off' where you might need to travel at short notice and need your passport urgently and I guess if that 'one off' moment is when you send it off for early renewal, then that I guess is tough luck. Except for children, for many of us, passport renewal is a once in a ten year event, so what the issue is with renewing well in advance is beyone me.
  • housebuyer2
    housebuyer2 Posts: 67 Forumite
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    I'm sure people are fully aware that they should have applied earlier....but they didn't and there really is no excuse for the delays that are being incurred.

    I requested an upgrade to the fast track service (pay extra for a 1 week turnaround) but wa told they won't even look at it until a week before I depart. Whereas if I had done the fast track originally I would have my passport back by now! How does that make sense
  • SailorSam
    SailorSam Posts: 22,754 Forumite
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    They were saying on the radio news that anyone who can prove they have to travel urgently could get a free transfer to the fast-track system. But when asked how they could prove the travel was urgent the question was advoided saying it was on a case-by-case thing. The reporter asked, say for example your holiday was a honeymoon, would that be a good enough reason, but he wasn't given a straight answer only that any holiday could be re-arranged.
    Liverpool is one of the wonders of Britain,
    What it may grow to in time, I know not what.

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  • totallybored
    totallybored Posts: 1,141 Forumite
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    I'm sure people are fully aware that they should have applied earlier....but they didn't and there really is no excuse for the delays that are being incurred.

    I requested an upgrade to the fast track service (pay extra for a 1 week turnaround) but wa told they won't even look at it until a week before I depart. Whereas if I had done the fast track originally I would have my passport back by now! How does that make sense

    Do you mean they won't fast track it because your holiday is more than a week away and they're only fast tracking passports that are needed in the next week? If you were to tell them you were travelling next week how would they know if this was true or not?

    With regards to using it as ID. My current employer insisted on seeing my passport when I started, as did my previous HR department. I don't know if they have a legal right to do this and if they would have accepted an alternative but with some HR departments there is no reasoning with them if they have a 'rule'. My solicitor of my last 2 house purchases also wanted to see my passport, again I don't know if anything else is acceptable. Even the UPS office insisted on it as they require photo ID to collect a parcel that couldn't be delivered and I don't have a photo driving licence. Proving your identity without a passport can be a pain if you don't have a photo driving licence and you do all your banking and utilities online.
  • housebuyer2
    housebuyer2 Posts: 67 Forumite
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    Yes they won't start the fast track process until nearer the time of departure (1 week before the lady on the phone said).

    Problem with lying about departure date is that they will only fast track if they can meet the deadline - if you were to say you were departing earlier than you are I think you risk being written off as not achievable......
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    Caddyman wrote: »
    Some countries require at least six months remaining time left on the passport on either point of entry/date of leaving for the particular country one is visiting. If you know you are going on holiday seven months ahead of your trip, then just how hard is it to do a basic check on when your passport expires?

    There's nothing like stating the bloomin obvious is there! Of course if you are travelling to one of the few countries that require 6 months on your passport you get it renewed before you travel, otherwise you're not getting on the plane.
    There seems to be some antagonism regarding the fact that some people can't seem to see the point of renewing their passport several months before the expiry date. Whether one likes to see it or not, it can be good practise. Ok, I agree, there is always the 'one off' where you might need to travel at short notice and need your passport urgently and I guess if that 'one off' moment is when you send it off for early renewal, then that I guess is tough luck. Except for children, for many of us, passport renewal is a once in a ten year event, so what the issue is with renewing well in advance is beyone me.

    Not antagonism at all, but your holier than thou attitude that you couldn't possibly be stuck without a passport just because you always renew with 9 months left on it it pure idiocy. You're just a likely to get stuck without it if you're due to travel within 2 months as the very people you're being condescending towards who leave it until there are a few months/weeks/days/already expired. But you can't seem to get your head around that.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
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