Everything You Wanted To Know About Your Child’s First Passport

Travelling with your little one is exciting, and probably a little stressful. A good starting point for your travel plans is to consider the first thing you need to do before any trip abroad – get your child’s first passport.


first passport


When Does Your Child Need Their First Passport?


Any child travelling outside of the UK needs a passport, regardless of how young they are. Children from birth to 16 years old can apply for a child passport. These passports are valid for five years.


How To Apply For Your Child’s First Passport


You can apply for your child’s first passport if your child hasn’t held a British passport previously. Your child must also have British nationality to be eligible to apply for a British passport.

It is important to consider leaving plenty of time when applying for your child’s first passport, especially if there are potential strikes or during peak summer times when lots of people are planning to apply for their passports and travel.

Once you are ready, there are two ways to apply for your child’s passport. You can apply online, or you can apply by post. There is a slight cost difference between the two.




Applying online is usually thought to be a faster, more convenient way to apply for your child’s first passport.

An online application costs £53.50. You’ll need some documentation to send with the application including:

  • A digital photo of your child (This photo will need to meet the passport photo requirements)
  • Supporting documents
  • A credit card or debit card to make the payment.

When your application has been submitted, you will be asked to nominate someone who can confirm your child’s identity. They will receive an email from the passport office confirming what they need to do to confirm your child’s identity online. There are criteria to meet regarding who is eligible to confirm identity. You can check the criteria here.




Applying by post may take a little longer and is a little more expensive. It costs £64. You can collect a paper application from some Post Offices, or by contacting the Passport Adviceline, who will post a form to you.

You’ll need to fill in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 of the form. If your child is over 12 years of age, they will need to sign section 6 of the form themselves. You will also need a ‘countersignatory’ to fill in section 10 and certify your child’s identity. Someone with parental responsibility must also sign the form.

When the application is completed, you can either send it using the pre-printed envelope from the passport office or use a participating Post Office to use the Passport Check And Send service.


Supporting Documents


You will need to send original documents or official copies of any supporting documents. Photocopies, or certified copies are generally not accepted. Certified translations will need to be sent alongside original documents if they are not in English or Welsh. Laminated documents will also not be accepted.

If the name on the passport documentation doesn’t match the name on the birth certificate, you will need to send:

  • A signed, dated letter from everyone with parental responsibility confirming the name change, and stating that they agree to a passport application
  • A deed poll
  • Evidence of the new name in use such as child benefit records, school records, or NHS records


Online applications will indicate what documents you need to submit. However, for postal applications you will need to send:

  • Two up-to-date photos of your child
  • Full birth certificate or adoption certificate
  • Proof of nationality – British registration certificate, parent’s passport details or parent’s birth certificate
  • Any valid passports from a different country
  • Any court orders relating to the child regarding parental responsibility or residency arrangements

You will also need to choose how you want these documents returned to you. They can be returned by normal post, or for a £5 fee, they can be returned by secure delivery.


Getting The Passport


Your child’s passport will be sent to you either by courier, or by Royal Mail. You can track the application online and check where in the process the application is.


Who Can Confirm Your Child’s Identity


There are requirements and restrictions as to who can confirm identity on a passport application.

The person should:

  • Be over 18 or over
  • Live in the UK
  • Hold a current UK passport
  • Have known the applicant, or the parent of the applicant for a minimum of 2 years
  • Know the applicant as a friend, neighbour or colleague
  • Work or be retired from a ‘recognised profession’ such as accountant, nurse, doctor, solicitor, commissioner for oaths, or engineer

You can see more examples of recognised profession examples here.