Passport renewals must be made by next week if you need the travel document in time for the start of the school summer holidays.
Official advice currently says it will take 10 weeks for the passports to be delivered once the application is submitted, meaning next week is the July school closure deadline.
It is estimated that 4.5 million Britons had their passports expired during the Covid-19 pandemic as travel restrictions put the tourism industry on hold.
Waiting until now for most restrictions to be lifted has resulted in a huge backlog of renewal applications at the passport office, causing them to double the usual estimated time of five weeks.
UK schools will break for the summer in the week starting Monday July 18, with the exact dates depending on each region.
The cost of a passport renewal ranges from £75 to £85 and applications can be submitted digitally via the government’s online service or via a local post office.
If you’re in a hurry, there’s an option to apply for an expedited passport, although people are struggling to get appointments due to high demand.
The service costs more than the regular passport application, with a charge of £122 for a child pass or £142 for an adult pass.
Desperate Brits have taken to Twitter to vent their anger at the passport office and the ongoing delays, with some worried they will miss their long-awaited holiday.
One person wrote: “I’m going into week 12 and still waiting. No dates available for fast track and phone lines are being cut. What an absolute disgrace of a system.”
Another said: “It’s horrific, isn’t it? After two years of Covid restrictions, would it not have been foreseeable that there would be an increase in passport applications? I’ll probably miss my honeymoon now.”
Brits have also been warned of the three essential things to check in your passport immediately to reduce the chances of a ruined holiday.
The passport must not have any damage or missing pages.
It also cannot be more than ten years old since it was issued, and you need at least three or six months to enter many destinations.
Martin Lewis has warned holidaymakers looking to travel abroad this summer.
The founder of MoneySavingExpert has warned that tourists could be caught if they don’t pay attention to the expiry dates of passports and GHIC/EHIC health cards.
If your passport is in order, it is also important to check your GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card) or EHIC (European Health Insurance Card), which gives you access to medical care across the EU at the same prices as locals.
The GHIC has replaced the old European health insurance cards, although your EHIC will remain valid if it is within its expiry date.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8643973/renew-passport-deadline-summer-holidays-date/ Order new passes by NEXT WEEK if you want them in time for the school summer holidays