If you have recently renewed your passport, you will notice quite a few differences from when you applied last time. Now you can apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport. Use this service to apply for, renew, replace or update your passport and you can pay for it online.
You can upload your own digital photograph. But frankly, you might as well go to a photo booth to get it done straight away because quite often the digital photo which you upload is just not good enough – perhaps the wrong background or facial expression. something e At the photo booth, the photographs they give you will contain a code which you can then use to upload to your application. And, you don’t need to have the form countersigned by a professional like a notary, doctor, or solicitor.
Assuming everything is in order, and your passport application is accepted, the Passport Office have a very helpful tracking arrangement. You know exactly how far the application has got. Your new passport will be sent out by private courier. When it arrives, you will note that it is now coloured dark blue to emphasise that we are no longer in the European Union. The back page is embossed with the rose, thistle. Shamrock, and daffodil indicating the four countries of the United Kingdom. Do remember to sign the passport on page 3 when you receive it.
The document looks very different from previous incarnations. The photo page is heavily laminated and has all sorts of antifraud measures. To start with there are actually four photographs contained in the passport. You may be mistaken in thinking that there are only three photographs but if you look carefully, you will see that there is a very small one with your date of birth printed across the front of the photo on the right-hand side. The laminated page contains the passport number three times, one of which is a series of holes – that’s a new development. Another improvement is that the passport tends to open straightaway at the laminated page; this helps you get through the customs gate much quicker!
An interesting feature is the ‘window’ over the main photo page. This enables you see your photograph on page 3 through the window on page 1. Your main photograph has an elaborate holograph containing a compass on the top half of an oval logo and a map of Britain on the lower half. The secondary photograph on the signature page (page 3) is embossed with a triangular logo. With all these checks it surely is going to be extremely difficult for fraudsters to copy so you can see that the passport office is clearly doing its best!
Do I need to see a notary?
Not when you are renewing an existing passport or applying for one for the first time. Nevertheless your local MyNotary notary frequently makes certified copies of British passports for use in business transaction overseas. And of course, foreign passports for use in the United Kingdom. Some countries – Spain for example – still insist on having copy of every page of your passport attached to a Power of Attorney – this can be an expensive business!