How to get your baby passport in the UK – my tips.
Gone are the days when a child can travel on their parents’ passports. Every British child now needs to have their own baby passport to travel even new-born babies.
It may sound like a difficult task to get a baby passport. However, it is simpler than you may think.
First things first – your baby needs to be registered and have a birth certificate that can be sent with their passport application. This can take some time depending on where you live. For example, Birmingham registry office had a 6-week wait for appointments to register births. There are, however, always cancelled appointments that come up. If you call the office you may get in earlier. (We managed to get an appointment after a week.)
Next is getting the passport photo right. Here are the guidelines:
Photos of babies and children.
‘Children must be on their own in the picture. Babies must not be holding toys or using dummies. Children under 6 don’t have to be looking directly at the camera or have a neutral expression. Children under one don’t have to have their eyes open. You can support their head with your hand, but your hand must not be visible in the photo.’
The background must also be cream or light grey. I used a cream blanket to lie the baby on.
To make sure the photos were correct I used the website paspic.com. They quality check the photos and print them at the correct size which prevents problems with the application. The pictures were delivered in a couple of days.
The application is pretty straightforward. Very much the same as an adult passport, however you will need to fill in grandparents as well as parents details. The passport needs to be signed by someone who has known the adult filling in the form for at least two years and recognise the baby photo.
Here are the requirements of the counter-signatory:
‘Who can sign your form and photo
Your counter-signatory must:
- have known the person applying (or the adult who signed the form if the passport is for a child under 16) for at least 2 years.
- be able to identify the person applying, eg they’re a friend, neighbour or colleague (not just someone who knows them professionally).
- be ‘a person of good standing in their community’ or work in (or be retired from) a recognised profession.
They can’t be closely related to or involved with the person applying, eg:
- related by birth or marriage
- be in a relationship with or live at the same address as the person applying if you’re applying in the UK
Your counter-signatory must:
- live in the UK
- have a current British or Irish passport’
Here is a link to the list of Recognised professionals who can sign the baby passport and photo. There are more to choose from than I realised!
So you have your birth certificate, completed form, photos,and counter-signatory.. Next send it off and wait for the return!
I sent everything off by Royal Mail special delivery as I wanted to make sure it got there as soon as possible. I also wanted to make sure it got there, not that I don’t trust the post office.
Within 3 weeks from sending everything off we received our brand new baby passport! Quick and easy really :-).
I hope this has helped and makes sense for those applying for their babies first passport. I can’t wait to take our new baby on her first trip!
Why not check out this article to get more tips about traveling with your baby