Applying to renew a British passport in the USA is a relatively straightforward process, provided you meet the criteria for a renewal. Your application can be mailed to the Regional Passport Processing Center in Washington DC, and if everything is in order your passport will be processed within four weeks of the center taking your fee.
Who Can Renew a British Passport in the U.S.?
To be able to renew an existing UK adult passport there are a couple of criteria you need to meet: you must still have the passport in your possession, it must be undamaged, and you must not be changing any details on it, such as your name or nationality.
If you are applying for a child’s passport, or a child’s first adult passport, you may be able to simply renew rather than start afresh. Renewal is possible as long as the child has held their own British passport, i.e. they were not included on a parent’s or guardian’s passport in the past, but had one in their own name.
Anyone who still holds an old style blue British passport will not be allowed to renew though, and will instead have to submit a new, first-time application. This is because the old style blue passports are now many years old and hence it would have been a long period of time in between you first applying for one. New background checks have to be performed to confirm your identity and also to confirm that you haven’t given up your British nationality in the meantime.
Which Forms for a British Passport Renewal in the U.S.?
There are two different forms: one for a child and one for an adult, however, the forms are the same whether you are applying for a first-time passport or renewing an existing one; you just have to make sure that you check the correct boxes.
For a child renewal of a UK passport in the US you need to fill out the pink Child (C2) Form and check Box B on the first page to indicate that it’s for a renewal of an existing child’s passport. However, if they are already 16, or will turn 16 within 2 weeks, use the adult form instead.
An adult UK passport renewal in the US requires Form C1, and as with the child’s form, make sure you check Box B on the first page to indicate that it is a renewal.
What Documentation and Photographs are Required for a Renewal?
When you are applying for renewal of a UK passport in the US you don’t need to provide lots of supporting documents, just your current British passport (the original, not a photocopy). This is because the authorities will already have verified all of your personal information the first time you applied for a passport.
You still need to send in two recent photographs of yourself, but unless your appearance has changed significantly since your photo in the current passport these do not need to be countersigned on the back.
Processing Your British Passport Renewal in the U.S.
Once the Regional Passport Processing Center in Washington DC has received your application and taken the application fee it should take about 4 weeks for your passport renewal application to be processed. The application fee is the same regardless of whether you’re applying for a renewal or a first-time passport, and that is $211 for an adult 32-page, $255 for an adult 48-page, and $134 for a child 32-page.
All applications must also include the $33 courier fee to cover the courier fees for mailing your passport to you from the UK.
Expedited Passport Service for UK Citizens in USA
UK passport renewal applications that are submitted in the United States take approximiately four weeks to process. It can sometimes take more time. In fact, there are times when it requires as much as ten weeks to complete the process. While you can access information about different types of passport services on the UK Passport in USA website, the focus is on professional passport expediting services for British citizens who need assistance in obtaining their passprots as quickly as possible. Registered expediters are experienced in getting passports expedited and que assist you throughout the process.