How much is a passport? 2023 costs for adult and child passports

We explain how much a passport is, how often adults and children need to renew them and what happens if your passport doesn't arrive in time for your holiday

Smiling woman holding passport at airport check-in desk
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Recent updates

This article has been updated to include information on how often both adult and child passports need to be renewed, what the quickest way to get a passport is, and the costly mistakes you should avoid when applying for or renewing the passports for you and your family.

Knowing how much a passport costs is vital for families, whether applying for a new passport or renewing an existing one.

Along with the cost of a passport, you’ll need to consider whether you need travel insurance for your holiday and make sure these essentials have been factored into your budget. Similarly, if travelling with children, it will be important to know how long child passports last, as they may need renewing before an adult passport does, even if you were issued them at the same time. Knowing how long it takes to get a passport is also key to ensuring you submit your application in good time.’s Money Editor, Sarah Handley, says: “No matter how you look at it, the cost of a holiday can quickly add up. But checking all family members have up-to-date passports and knowing how much you can expect to pay for new ones is essential to ensuring your holiday plans aren’t disrupted.”

How much is a passport?  

It currently costs £82.50 to apply for or renew a standard 35-page adult passport online via the website. This rises to £93 if you fill in a paper form. 

Children’s passports (for those under the age of 16) cost £53.50 for online applications or £64 for paper applications. 

CEO of private jet charter company Admiral Jet, David Doughty, adds: “In contrast, a 50-page frequent traveller passport costs £93.50 for adults and £64.50 for children, if you apply online. They would be £104 and £75 respectively, if you apply by paper form. There is no discount for renewals, as you are essentially starting anew with a different passport each time.”

Using the Post Office’s Check and Send service costs an extra £16, but will ensure there are no mistakes on your application form and prevent delays in processing times.  

You must be aged 16 or over (or turning 16 within the next three weeks) to get an adult passport. 

Is it cheaper to apply for or renew a passport online?

Yes, applying for or renewing your passport online will be cheaper compared to filling in a paper form. In fact, paper applications cost £10.50 more for both adult and child passports, whether you’re applying for a standard or frequent flyer passport. 

mother and daughters looking at passports standing by a luggage trolley at the airport

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How often do you need to renew your family's passports? 

In theory, you’ll need to renew an adult passport every 10 years and a child’s passport every five years. But in reality, you’ll probably need to renew your passport at least three to six months before the expiry date, depending on where you are travelling to. Any unexpired time won’t be added to your new passport. 

Jane Hawkes, consumer expert at, explains: “There are two important validity checks you need to make before travel. The first is your passport must be no more than 10 years old on the day you arrive in the EU. The second is that your passport must have at least three months left to run from the day you leave to return to the UK.”

If you’re visiting a country outside the EU, the rules can be different. Countries such as Australia and the USA require your passport to be valid throughout your stay, while other countries, such as China, Thailand, Egypt and Turkey, require you to have at least six months left on your passport. It’s crucial to check the specific entry requirements for the country you’re visiting on the website. 

 What’s the quickest you can get a passport? 

If your situation is particularly pressing, it’s possible to get a passport in two days from when you apply. But you’ll need to do this through the Online Premium service. 

Consumer expert Jane Hawkes says: “If you need a passport urgently you can select the option for the Premium service or Fast Track service. If you’re abroad and need to travel urgently to get home you can apply for an Emergency Travel Document.”

If you need to use the Premium service, you must book an appointment at one of the Passport Offices across the UK. It costs £193.50 for a standard adult passport and you’ll receive your new passport at the appointment.

Alternatively, you can use the one-week Fast Track service to:

  • Renew an adult or child passport that has expired or is about to expire
  • Change personal details on your passport
  • Replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport
  • Apply for a first child passport.

The service costs £155 for a standard adult passport and £126 for a standard child passport.

For regular, non-urgent applications, you should receive your passport within three weeks from when the Passport Office receives your documents. It can take longer if the Passport Office needs more information, needs to interview you or is dealing with a particularly high number of applications.

young child standing in departure lounge with arms up and holding her passport

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 How long do passports last? 

Adult passports last for 10 years, while children’s passports last for five years. But remember that even if your passport is currently in date, if it’s due to expire in the coming months and doesn’t meet the specific entry requirements of the country you’re visiting, you could be refused entry.

For this reason, it pays to make a note of when your passport is due to expire and make sure you apply at least six months ahead of that date, preferably earlier. 

 What documents do you need to get a passport? 

The documents you need to provide to get a passport will depend on whether you are renewing it online or in paper form.

Taylor Hughes from The Travel Health Clinic says: “Applying online is fairly straightforward, you just need to follow the steps on the government website - it will tell you what you need to do or provide. You pay online via credit or debit card and you will need a digital photo of your face that meets passport guidelines (these can be found on the government website).”

Alternatively, paper forms can be picked up from a Post Office that has a Check and Send service or by calling the Passport Adviceline. You can pay by debit or credit card or by cheque and you will need two new and identical printed photos of yourself. These can be taken at a photo booth and must not be attached to your application form.

Philip Stubbins of Money Expert adds: “For both methods, you must send the expired passport back to the Passport Office in order for them to issue you with a new document. The passport office will then send you a new passport and return your old one separately in the post.”

Note that if you have changed your name, you will also need to include the original certificate of a name change, such as a deed poll document or marriage certificate. This will then be sent back to you. 

What happens if my passport doesn’t arrive on time? 

If your passport does not arrive on time, you won’t be able to travel. Unfortunately, it’s also very unlikely that you’ll be able to claim on your travel insurance if you have to forgo your trip due to passport delays. Although many policies will cover lost or stolen passports, they won’t usually pay out because your passport hasn’t turned up in time.

For this reason, it’s best to wait until you have received your passport before you book your holiday. 

If you don’t have a valid passport and you need to travel urgently for medical treatment or because a family member or friend is seriously ill or has died, you can call the Passport Adviceline for assistance. 

Father and son waiting at airport check in with their luggage

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5 costly mistakes to avoid when getting or renewing a passport 

When applying for a passport for yourself or your child, don’t fall foul of these common pitfalls: 

  1. Not having the correct documents to hand Before you start your application, check you have all the necessary documents to hand, such as your birth certificate, passport photos, and the appropriate application form. Incomplete applications can lead to processing delays.
  2. Leaving it too late “Waiting until the last minute to apply for or renew your passport can lead to additional fees for expedited processing,” says Will Fenton, founder of finance website Sterling Savvy. “Plan ahead to avoid these rush charges.”
  3. Incorrect passport photos It can be cheaper, and easier to take your passport photos at home, especially if you are trying to take a young child's picture. But there’s also a higher risk of getting it wrong and your application being rejected. Passport photo requirements are specific so it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the rules to follow
  4. Not keeping a copy “It's good practice to make a copy of your passport and store it separately from the original,” advises finance expert Will Fenton. “This can be invaluable if your passport is lost or stolen while travelling.”
  5. Forgetting about visa requirements Finally, some countries require you to have a valid visa as well as a valid passport when you travel. Make sure you check the visa requirements of the country you’re visiting well in advance.

Knowing how to take passport photos at home is quite a skill, but can be an easier and cheaper option especially if you need passport photos for an infant or young child.

Rachel Wait
Personal finance expert

Mum of two, Rachel is a freelance personal finance journalist who has been writing about everything from mortgages to car insurance for over a decade. Having previously worked at Shares Magazine, where she specialised in small-cap stocks, Rachel developed a passion for consumer finance and saving money when she moved to She later spent more than 8 years as an editor at price comparison site MoneySuperMarket, often acting as spokesperson. Rachel went freelance in 2020, just as the pandemic hit, and has since written for numerous websites and national newspapers, including The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sun and Forbes. She is passionate about helping families become more confident with their finances, giving them the tools they need to take control of their money and make savings. In her spare time, Rachel is a keen traveller and baker.