Passport Renewal Questions
My passport expired two and half years ago and I would like to renew it. Although I am not planning on travelling abroad at the moment I need one for ID purposes. I have some questions and would be grateful for any advice/info.
First, can I use the fast-track service if I'm not travelling or is this just if you have booked to go somewhere abroad?
How long are regular applications taking at the moment and how long does it take for a fast-track?
Is it quicker to make the application online, or if I apply at the Post Office will it take the same time?
If I make the application online do I need my government gateway ID? I have one but have forgotten the password and when I tried to re-set it recently to check my NI contributions it wanted either my passport number (which I don't have of course as I assume an expired one wouldn't count) or information that would be held on my credit file, such as the date when I took out my mobile phone contract or credit card. There is no way I could remember such things so I'm not sure how I can get it re-set and as it wasn't essential at that time and as I've always got a huge 'to do' list I just left it in the 'too difficult' tray.
The photo on my expired passport was taken 12 years ago and naturally I look older plus I've lost a very great deal of weight so it doesn't really look like me now. Does this mean I will need to get someone who qualifies from their list of approved counter-signatories to sign to say the photo is of me? How is this done if you apply online? Is the change in my appearance likely to cause any difficulties?
Is there anything else I should know or take into consideration?
Thank you in advance for any advice or information.
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