Urgent passport warning as families face 10-week wait for renewals ahead of summer holidays
FAMILIES planning on booking a last minute holiday this summer are being urged to check their passports – and face a lengthy wait if they need a new one.
The government has warned that Brits are waiting up to 10 weeks to get a new passport, up from the usual three.
Mobile reminders have been sent to Brits by the government, stating: "Reminder: It takes up to 10 weeks to get a new passport. Don't leave it too late, renew now."
This means that holidaymakers wanting to go away, but have to renew their passport, may have to wait until mid-October before getting them back.
Frantic Brits took to social media, fearing their holidays were at risk.
Twitter user Sophie said she was "sick with worry" as she was due to fly on August 12 and didn't have her renewed passport.
Traveller Claire Mochar, who applied on July 16, told the Telegraph they had to cancel their holiday due to the "shambles" as their application hadn't even been processed three weeks later.
The government's Fast Track service is also in high demand, meaning families are struggling to get appointments.
The slow process, the government explained, is due to both a surge in applications and many staff still working from home means that the delays are likely to continue.
Last summer, a backlog of 400,000 passports was reported, after more than a million passports expired during the lockdown.
And Brits should check the expiry on their passports too.
While Brits need just three months left to travel to Europe, new rules introduced no longer accept the additional 10 months that could previously be added.
This means passports with any additional months on top of the 10 years are not valid.
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Passenger Abi Campbell was stopped from boarding her flight back to Glasgow from Tenerife after thinking her passport was valid.
Despite expiring in May 2022, the issue date was August 2011 – meaning it is only valid up to August 2021.
The government website states: “Your passport must also be less than ten-years-old on the day after you leave. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over ten years may not count towards the minimum period needed.”
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