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Getting a new passport

What is a new passport?

Returning your current passport for one with an updated name, photograph, and/or gender marker.

What does a new passport do?

How long does a new passport last?

Passports are valid for ten years, but can be updated at anytime during their validity.

What should I be aware of?


Any current visa you hold will not be transferred to your new passport.

If you have visas in your old passport and still wish to travel to those countries, what you need to do will vary depending on the country.

  • Some countries will allow you to travel with both your new valid passport and your old invalidated passport, but this will out you every time that you need to show your visa.
  • Other countries will require you to have the visa transferred or possibly even apply for a new visa.

You should check with any country you hold a visa with before you update your details, or just apply for new visas.


You usually must update any foreign passports you hold before updating your British passport.

If you have any other passports:

How do I get a new passport?

You do not need a GRC to change the name or gender on your passport, driving license, or any other identification other than your birth certificate.

It may take some time to receive your new passport. You can find out the current wait time for a new passport on the GOV.UK website.

To apply for your own adult passport you must be either:

  • 16 or over
  • turning 16 within the next three weeks.

If you are under 16, your parent or guardian must apply for a child passport for you.

Updating a passport is different depending on whether you already have a UK passport or not.

  • If you already have an existing UK passport

    You can update your name and/or gender marker on an existing UK passport either online or by post. Forms for postal updates are available from your local post office. You will need to return your old passport along with the application. If you have lost your passport, you will need to declare it lost.

    To update your name on your passport you will need to send your deed poll or statutory declaration. Photocopies are not accepted, so you must either send the original document or a certified copy.

    To update your gender marker on an existing passport you will also need one of two things. The first way to update the gender on your passport is with a letter from a doctor stating that they consider this change to be permanent. You can get this from a gender specialist or from your GP. In both cases, they will usually charge you money for writing this letter.

    The second way to update the gender on your passport is with a gender recognition certificate (GRC). A GRC is not required to update your passport if you have a letter from your doctor.

  • If you don’t have an existing UK passport

    If you already have a gender recognition certificate (GRC) or an updated birth certificate, you can apply for a passport as normal with your updated birth or adoption certificate. Name change documents and letters from doctors are not required.

    If you do not have a gender recognition certificate (GRC) and updated birth certificate, you will need to fill in the application for a new passport, and include your existing birth or adoption certificate along with the documents listed above.

Regardless of whether you have an existing UK passport, you will need to send the passport office two passport photographs. If your appearance has changed significantly, or this is your first passport, you will also need to get the photographs countersigned. If you are in doubt, it can be better to get them countersigned, as having to respond to a request to send in new photographs can slow the process down.

Where can I learn more?

You can read more about obtaining or renewing passports on the HM Passport Office website.

Errors and omissions

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