With new EU laws passport cannot be more than 10 years old when entering an EU country, so check when your passport was issued and when it is due to expire.
Most places in Europe will require you to have a least three months left on your passport on the date of departure from your destination – check the government travel advice for the passport rules for your destination at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
If you need to renew – do it early. The Passport Office is advising it could take up to 10 weeks to process a passport renewal or application from the UK.
Remember –passports for under 16s are only valid for five years, so check when they are up for renewal.
It is cheaper to renew online than via the post.
Check the Passport Office photo guidance to get your digital photo right.
Make sure you have all your documents to hand – you’ll need to send your old passport back and look at the counter signatory criteria to see if you need to confirm your identity.
You can get help in applying for your passport at some Post Office branches, either through the Digital Check & Send service or the Paper Check & Send service.
There is also a fast-track passport application service available – full details can be found here.
If you wish to know more about SmileForJoel, or have any questions, please use the contact form.
Remember we love to see your pictures supporting SmileForJoel and your wristbands travelling around the world.
Please send them to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages along with the hashtag #smileforjoel. Click here for our wristband story.