Applying For Your Baby’s First Passport – How To Get Your Passport Application Right First Time!
As a holiday lover, we booked our 2nd baby’s first holiday before he was even born! When he was about a month old I started to apply for his first passport. My first application was sent back as I hadn’t sent in the correct version of the birth certificate, but luckily my 2nd application was accepted. This is my experience of applying for my baby’s first passport.
About 12 weeks before we were due to go on holiday with our newborn baby, I began to start thinking about applying for his first passport. My first stop was the official Identity & Passport Service website where I read up on the application process. There are lots of ‘unofficial’ websites which appear on Google advertising their ‘services’ to help you apply for a passport for a baby , but most of these charge a fee in addition to the fee charged by the Identity & Passport Service.
I filled in the online form which asks for basic information about yourself, your partner and your baby. The form is then printed out by the Identity and Passport Service and then sent back to you to counter sign, and supply the relevant ID and photos. It took just over a week for my online form to be returned to me.
This was fairly pain free and there is the opportunity to amend the form if you realise you’ve made mistakes after you’ve filled in the online application.
In May 2016, it cost £46 to get a child’s first passport or £55.75 if you use the Check and Send service. I paid an additional £3 for my ID to be returned via secure post.
How to take a suitable passport photo of your baby
Ok, this is where it starts to get tricky. How on earth do you get a photo of a newborn baby looking at the camera without their arms, a toy or someone else’s arms being in the photo?
The Identity & Passport Service’s requirements for passport photos are here. You can go to a specialist passport photo provider such as Boots, Jessops etc and ask them to take your baby’s passport photo but we decided to do it ourselves and print the photo out as it was cheaper. I placed my baby on the floor with an off white sheet underneath him, and held his hands out of shot whilst my husband took the photo.
Here’s how to get your baby’s passport photo right
- Photo has to be taken against an off white or cream background (sheet). Be careful to remove creases.
- The head and both ears have to be in shot
- There can’t be any arms around the head area
- Take the photo from about 1.5 m away and include your baby from about their tummy upwards
- There must be a space above the baby’s head
- Important – if your baby is less than 1 year old they do not need to have their eyes open
We did this and printed them off via Frame Lizard. It only cost £1.99 for 6 uncut photos.
Supplying the correct identification
After the passport photos had been sent back, my husband asked one of his colleagues to sign it. Note that the person counter signing the photos needs to supply their passport number too.
Then I collated all the information, and sent what I thought was the correct part of the birth certificate off to the Identity & Passport service. I got a letter about a week later asking me to send a ‘full’ birth certificate off so they could process my application. After contacting the passport office it transpired that they want the certified copy of the birth certificate with mine and my husband’s name and occupation on it rather than the copy with just our baby’s details on it. I didn’t feel this was made particularly clear in the documentation sent by the Identity & Passport service or the subsequent letter sent to me.
Once I sent the correct version of the birth certificate off, my baby’s first passport and accompanying identification was returned. All done!
Have you got any tips about applying for your baby’s first passport?