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 UK Child and Baby Passport

 
Passports for babies and children are required for travel outside the UK and children must have their own passports. Here are some frequently asked questions on applying for a passport for a baby or child and getting that all important baby passport photo! Note that the government department of Identify and Passport Services issue passports. Please do watch out for websites offering to apply on your behalf for a charge or those that run high cost premium rate phone lines charging you for information that is available free from government sites.

 

Child Passport FAQs:

A british passport: for baby or childCan my baby or child travel under my passport?
Who can apply for a British passport for a baby or child?
Where can I apply for a child's passport?
How much is a childrens passport?
What are the baby passport photo rules?
Where can I get a baby passport photo?

Can my baby or child travel under my passport?

Before 5 October 1998 a baby or child could be included on a parent or guardian's passport. Now, however, all children need passports to travel outside of the UK.  A child passport is valid for five years, after which time it must be renewed.  If you are applying for a passport for anyone aged 16 or over, they will need an adult passport.  Children's passports do not automatically run out at 16, they carry over until they expire; for example, a child passport applied for a 15 year old will not expire until they are 20.

Who can apply for a British baby or child passport?

To apply for a child passport, the baby or child must be under 16 and a British Citizen. Information on other nationality groups eligible can be found here

Where can I apply for a child passport?

The passport forms are issued by the IPS (Identity and Passport Service).  You can get the child passport application pack in four different ways:
 
  • Collect the application from a post office branch that offers the passport check and send service.  Using the post office branch finder enter your postcode in the left hand box and select 'passport check and send' from the drop down list.
  • Request a passport application form from IPS online and they will send it to you through the post
  • Call the IPS passport advice line 0300 222 000 (an official advice line charged at your network provider's standard national rate.  The lines are open every day 7am-11pm.)
  • Complete the application online at the IPS website.  It will be printed by the IPS and returned to you to sign and return with your supporting documents.

  • Information on what supporting documents are needed are all listed in the application form notes.
Applying for a baby or child passport is straight forward and the passport office are clear on the four ways above that you can do it.  Again, please do be wary of internet companies offering premium telephone lines to provide information found free at the IPS websites above.

How much does a child passport cost?

As at July 2013, the cost of a baby or child passport is £46 for the standard service, £54.75 for Check and Send service and £87 for the one-week Fast Track service.*

Are there different rules for a baby passport photo?

Generally the photos must be the same for baby and child passports as for adults, except:
  • • For children under 5 years, the requirements of mouths to be closed and eyes looking at the camera are waived, and
  • • Supporting hands (yours) must not be visible. Babies unable to support themselves can be laid on a light grey sheet and photographed from above.
  • • Babies and children must not have dummies in their mouths or toys visible in the photo.
  • • Babies under 12 months are not required to have their eyes open
The general rules for all passport photos can be found here.  Ensure that you read the requirements for the certification of a child's photos provided with the application form.

Where can I get a baby passport photo?

Baby passport photos aren't easy to take, so what are your options?  Photos printed at home are generally not accepted due to the quality of the print (they use the photo to take some biometric information) and getting the right size. Using a photo shop that takes passport photos, Snappy Snaps for example, will be easier than using a booth with a baby. You could take a white, non-creased sheet with you. Place the sheet in the buggy, and have your baby lay on the sheet Then you can have the baby passport photo taken in the buggy which is less stressful for you and baby.

*Source: www.gov.uk, © Crown Copyright


Other helpful tips and advice:
Flying with a baby our guide to taking baby milk on board, car seats, etc.
Family Travel Insurance and why it's a must have,
Where to apply for an European Health Insurance Card