I recently renewed my passport - the old one expired 4 years ago. I live in hopes that I may get to use it in the near future. It may well be useful even if it's just to prove who I am when I go into my bank to cash a cheque for £100+ and ask for £5 notes! The passport application cost me £66 but I hear the cost has increased yet again. From what I hear it will soon be a case of more than just a photograph - but fingerprints as well. Did you know you can apply for a renewal passport at any time? not many people know that. And - more importantly that if there is less than 6 months to run on your current passport you may have difficulty getting back into the old home country?
I found the following comment on Peter Hitchens blog: -
My seven-year-old son has a five year passport that runs out in Jan 2008. We are going away at the beginning of August to France. I did not know that if you only have six months left on your passport you could be refused entry back into the country. When my wife rang the passport office to confirm this she was told this is correct, (they also informed her that we are very fussy about who we let into the country). However, the passport office could not tell her if my son would be OK to return to Britain and she would have to ring the French Embassy. (he is OK)So in conclusion
1.A 5-year passport is really a 4.5-year passport
2.You have to get permission from the French to be allowed back into your own country.
3.The real surprise, we are fussy who we let into the country.