Avoid Making These Mistakes While Applying for a Passport

Avoid Making These Mistakes
While Applying for a

The process of applying for a passport may seem pretty straightforward but a lot of care should be taken during the process. Any errors on your application could cause a significant delay in the processing of your passport. Some of the most common mistakes during the passport application process include misspelling of Applicants names, using the wrong procedures to cancel out mistakes, filling in the form using a ballpoint pen colour that is not recommended and the presence of smears and smudges on your application form. There are guidelines that have been put in place to address these types of common mistakes that occur during the passport application process. It’s important to acquaint yourself with these rules and regulations.

We are all aware of how costly mistakes can be, so it is always important to double check your passport application form before sending it out. This way you can ensure that you minimize any reasons that could lead to a delay in processing. Processing delays have led to the loss millions of pounds annually attributed to extra application appointment fees that could have been avoided. The inconveniences of missing out on or rescheduling holidays and other travel assignments are also the direct results of delays in passport processing. This article is designed to help you avoid and correct any possible and foreseeable mistakes during the passport application process.

In the UK there are only two ways to apply for a passport. These methods have slight differences in the rules that apply to mistakes made during application. It is important to understand these differences before choosing a method that suits your application needs.

Paper Forms Application Method

Paper form applications are normally sent via post upon completion. The regulations that govern passport application mistakes in this method also apply if you are using the ‘Check and Send’ services which are available at the local Post Offices.

The rules state as follows;

  • Only black inked ballpoint pens can be used to fill in the form.
  • Any writing on the form should be in block letters and should be neat and legible.
  • Crossing out mistakes or using correction fluid to hide them is not allowed; only use black inked ballpoint pens to black out your errors.
  • Only a maximum of three character mistakes are allowed per application form, exceeding this maximum will lead to your application form being rejected.
  • Keep you’re writing within the designated white boxes, your signature should remain within the designated border.
  • Do not send photocopies or scans of your documents only originals will be accepted. Documents from the General Register Office are considered to be originals.
  • Your two coloured passport photos must follow the photo guidelines prescribed at http://www.passports-office.co.uk/passport_photos.asp. These photographs must be recent and should have been taken during the last four weeks.

Caution: Using the ‘Check and Send’ services provided at your local post office will not guarantee that your passport will be processed or arrives within your desired time frame. Their website states that they are not a guaranteed service and their cashiers have not undertaken any relevant training offered by the passport office.

Always ensure that you choose a Post Office Service that will fit your needs perfectly. Contrary to popular belief using Post Office Services will not guarantee the safe and speedy delivery of your passport.

Urgent Services

Second UK Passport

Urgent services include Fast-Track and Premium services.  These services are highly recommended for those with travel plans that fall within the next 30 days.

1 Week Fast-Track Service

This service is offered for the following;

  • Passport renewal for adults aged 16 and above.
  • Name change on marriage or civil partnerships documents.
  • Applying for a passport duplicate for a damaged, misplaced or stolen passport.
  • Applying for a first passport, renewing or changing details on a passport for a child aged between 0-15 years.

1 Day Premium Service

Services available in this premium class include the following;

  • Name change on marriage or civil partnerships documents.
  • Passport renewal for adults aged 16 and above.

Online Applications Method

This passport application method has quickly gained prominence among travellers because it is very convenient. It is not as cumbersome as the paper form method and is much quicker and easier to use.

Second UK PassportIt comes with other advantages such easy access which allows you to complete your application on the go from your mobile device. You are also less likely to make errors as there are prompts that guide you to ensure you don’t miss a step when filling your application. The steps required to complete your application are also minimal. After completion of the online form you will be directed to the payment section to complete the web based process. Filling a declaration and signature form and attaching relevant supporting documents is the final process in this application method. The declaration form and documents are sent out via post.

The online passport application system is programmed to ensure that applications are uniform and neat. The only smudges and smears you will need to worry about will be those on the screen of your device. There are however a few precautions that you must take to ensure your online passport applications are perfect.

  •  Always turn off the auto-fill features on your browser to ensure that no wrong information is added to your form automatically by your device.
  •  Always sign within the specified box on the declaration form. No part of the signature should touch any of the edges on the box.
  •  Always ensure that your spelling of words is correct and double check if necessary. Correction is easier before the form has been submitted.
  •  Ensure that the Applicants and Attendees names for the passport appointment are filled in correctly on the online form. In case of an error only the Attendees name can be corrected. In order to correct a mistake on the Applicant’s name, you will have to forfeit your application fee and begin the application process a fresh. So be very careful here.
  •  The window for making changes on your application closes 48 hours before your appointment. You will need to make a new appointment if you need any changes done after this window has expired.

Best Ways to Deal with Mistakes on an Online Form


  • The only way to remedy a mistake on an online passport application form after submission is by way of a written submission sent via post to the passport office. It must outline the error and its remedy and must be signed and dated by the individual named on the declaration form.
  •  Contact details such as phone number, Email and physical or postal address should be accurately stated for future communications in case there are any issues arising from your application. This information will also ensure that you receive your final declaration form.
  • When printing your final declaration form ensure you do not adjust the settings on your printing device in order to maintain the recommended scale of the form.

Mistakes are bound to occur when completing a passport application. This is mainly attributed to human errors that we are all prone to. They cannot be avoided but they can definitely be minimized to avoid delays in passport processing. The tips we have shared above are meant to help you avoid common mistakes and to ensure that your passport is always processed in the shortest time possible. This way you will never have to suffer the inconveniences of missing a holiday or travel assignment ever again.

In case you may require any of the online services listed in this article you can book below.

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