Closeup of a british passport on a map

Applying for a child’s passport can sometimes be daunting but also an exciting time. This is a quick guide I have written for applying for your child’s first passport. Hopefully, this post will help you and you won’t end up with your application being returned.

Although if you are stuck check out the official passport website for help or the post office (added fees may apply though). Make sure you go through each section, as information may differ depending on if you are a UK resident or not.

Remember to use a black ballpoint pen when filling out the form and write in capital letters. I know a few times I forgot about the black pen and used blue! Oops.

Also, I have lots of other tips and advice about family travel, so make sure you have a look around to see if anything else can help you.

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I earn a commission from qualifying links in this post. (Disclaimer)

British Passport

Applying For Your First Child’s Passport (UK)

Section 1 – Type of Passport

This section asks you to put a cross [X] in the box which applies to you. So you would cross the box – Your First British Passport and cross the child box. If it was a renewal then you would cross the child box under renewal.

Section 2 – Who Is the Passport For?

Fill out all your child’s information. Make sure it all matches your child’s birth certificate. Put in your mobile number and email address if you wish in this section too. You will get handy text messages throughout the process including when they post your child’s passport to you. I find it saves you stressing about whether or not it is on its way.

Section 3 – Have You Had A Passport Before?

As you are applying for a first passport you should cross the NO box.

Section 4 – Parent’s Details

Fill in all the details correctly, if you have passport details then add in the numbers from the passports (adult passports).

Also if you were born after 31st December 1982 or born abroad then you have to fill in your child’s grandparents’ details (full name, town, country, date of birth, and date of marriage) So you would need 4 lots of details; well for my son’s first UK passport, he has two sets of grandparents. You can write the details in Section 8 or on a piece of paper.

The most asked question regarding this section is “Do you have to fill in grandparents’ details for a child’s passport?”

Answer: I have heard from various sources regarding this section about the grandparents’ details. Some people have mentioned that if you have both of the child’s parents’ passport numbers, you do not need the grandparents’ details. However, I would advise you to fill in as many details about the grandparents as you can, just to be on the safe side. When renewing my son’s passport, I have also added a note on the application stating that his father’s parents’ details are unknown and I have never had a problem.

Section 5 – Certificate of registration or naturalisation

Cross the correct box and fill in relevant information if you crossed the yes box

Section 6 – Children ages 12-15

If your child is between 12 and 15 then they have to sign and date this section

Section 7

Leave blank

Section 8 – More Information

If you need to fill in grandparents’ details, then fill in this section (if needed)

Section 9 – Declaration

If your child is under 16 then you will have to sign and date the form and put your relationship to the child

Section 10 – Countersignature

Check the official website for more details on who can sign the pictures and fill in this section. Normally it cannot be a relation to you. I normally get our accountant to fill in the forms or one of my friend’s husbands who we have known for years.

Passport Pictures

You can take the pictures by yourself or from a professional body like Timpsons. I normally use Timpsons who are pretty decent. Timpsons also do a special code, so you can apply for your child passport online and use the code for the picture taken in-store. If you take the pictures yourself remember to follow the guidelines very carefully as they are very strict with the photos.

I have taken my own passport photos before and I would advise standing against a white wall (or as close as you can to white), having a light ring in front of you (or your subject) and taking passport photos that way. This stops shadows behind you and gives a nice light.

Children under 5 do not need to have a neutral expression or look directly at the camera. Babies under one don’t need to have their eyes open. (Both my boys were about 2 weeks old and had their eyes shut in their photos).

How Much Does A Child’s Passport Cost?

In 2022, the price for a child’s passport is £49 (online application). Applying via post will cost you more and you can also pay extra to have your supporting documents returned to you by secure post.

Before sending off the form and all documents triple check everything is correct. Normally it is the FULL birth certificate that is needed and not the short one you get from registering your child’s birth.

The normal lead time is 2-4 weeks to receive your passport however during busy times this can be much longer, sometimes 10+ weeks. So send your passport application off well in advance. My sons came back pretty quickly (2 weeks max) and they also send back the birth certificate and any other information you have sent in separately.

 Have you applied for your child’s passport recently? Did it go smoothly or did something go wrong?

If you are looking for information on travel visas for your holiday, then you can check out IVisa for more details and online application forms.

Common Questions For Applying For Your Child’s First British Passport

What documents do you need for a child’s first passport?

You can find updated information on what you need to send as supporting documents on the GOV website. Usually, it is two passport-sized photos, a full birth certificate, proof of British nationality and any court orders relating to the child.

Do you need grandparents’ details for the child’s first passport?

I have already noted before in section 4 that if you can you should try and provide the information. However, if something is unknown then just state in the correct section why details cannot be provided. If you need to check what is required it is best to contact the Passport Advice Line on exactly what you are required to send. This will then stop any passports from being rejected.

Disclaimer: Please always check your passport forms with the Post Office if you are having problems. This information was correct at the time of publishing. However, things can change and I cannot be held responsible for any incorrect information regarding passport details. 

Applying for your child's first passport

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About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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16 Comments

  1. Hi, do you know wether both parents have to provide their birth certificates? Both our passports are out of date, and we can only find my partners birth certificate. Is this enough or will they need mine too? We have filled out the form, have my sons birth certificate, photos with countersignatory and my partners birth certificate. Thank you in advance

    1. Hi Daniel, from looking at the guideance notes on the gov.uk website it says you can provide parents passport details it doesn’t say valid passport details. It also mentions one parents details. You can find these guideance notes online or if you have the paper form, you should have a copy with it. So I would say your partner’s birth certificate is okay and your passport details are also ok to put in. To double check you could try find a helpline number or ask your local post office just to be sure. I haven’t applied for a passport for a few years now. Sorry I couldn’t have been of more help.

      1. You need to provide both sets of birth certificates for grandparents . Ours is on hold because one was not provided . We are hoping to get my 2 Granddaughters back by the end of July as my son getting married abroad . And don’t trust the post office as ours were checked . Leave noting to chance .

        1. Hi Karen, Maybe this is something new then as with both my boy’s passports we didn’t need to provide birth certificates for the grandparents. I suppose everyone’s circumstances can differ so always best to check directly if you can. I hope you get your granddaughters passports back in time.

          1. Thanks for reply . Got the grandmothers birth certificate now their queering the middle name missing so frustrating

  2. Hey is grandparents details of both maternal and paternal sides important..because I can’t provide any of the detail for my child because I dnt have any

    1. I’m not too sure how essential it is. I have put before just the basics (name, dob etc) and put a note saying im not in contact to get the rest. You could contact the passport office or post office to make sure.

    2. Hi Priya

      I just spoke to someone as long as the mothers passport number is available you wouldn’t need any other details (when sending documents just the mothers passport number written on a paper and the child’s birth certificate)

  3. So I’m applying from France for my daughters first passport. My partner is Irish and we are really struggling to get hold of my parents and his mums birth certificates. Do you know that we definitely need them as I can’t see why they would need anything from my partner and what with living in a different country it makes getting original documents very difficult!

    1. Hi Olivia. I have never provided documents for the boys grandparents. I have provided names and passport numbers before, then another I just put the names and advised I didn’t know the other information. It certainly is very difficult to get original documents. I hope this helps 🙂

  4. Hi there, I am beginning the application for my son now and it is tricky. I am Austrialian, as are my parents, and i do not have a copy of either of their birth certificates, which it is asking for – not sure how it is relevant as neither are British! My partner (British) and his parents have all provided theirs, so there is clear British lineage through his paternal side. Do you think they will accept one set of grandparents’ certificates? It is going to cost me upwards of £200 to get a copy of both my parent’s certificates, and who knows how long for delivery!

    Seems silly as they are both Australian… I might try with the one set and see what happens before forking out the money on something I hope to not need again!

    1. Hi Ally, as far as I know, you don’t need their birth certificates. When I got my youngest son’s passport, I didn’t have his dad’s parents’ details, so I just put as much as I could remember and then gave the reason why it was missing. It was approved okay. There is a helpline number you could contact to see what they need before you send anything off or pay any money. That might be the best shout. Hope you get it sorted.

  5. I am very interested in your reply, I am trying to get a first child passport for my third daughter, born in France. I am British as are my parents, my partner is French as are her grandparents. I am hoping that i can supply details of just my parents (child’s paternal grandparents) as we have their birth and mariage certificates and not with my partners side as to avoid paying heavy fees and delays in reclaiming new certificates then translating them. Does anyone have any idea if this will work? It is also far too complicated to try and speak to someone over the phone!

    1. Hi there, unfortunately, I’m not too sure. I would say as long as you provide as much information as possible on all parents and grandparents and reasons why something is missing then it should make it through. The only way to be sure would be to contact the passport office to get confirmation though.

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