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About Renew for Freedom

Q. You used to say “Renew in May”. What’s changed?

A. Nothing. May 2006 was our initial target and we sought publicity in that month to avoid the summer peak.

Q. What is the final date you can renew your passport without going on the ID card database?

A. We do not know. But neither does the Home Office. The database hasn’t been built yet.

Q. Why "now"?

A. The situation was expected to change in October 2006, but the government's schedule kept slipping. From April 2007, much more data will be collected from first time passport applicants - and progressively from others therafter. It would be possible for the Home Office to use information gathered by interview to create National Identity Register (NIR) records later.

Q. How could passport data be used if there isn’t an ID database yet?

A. The Identity Cards Act 2006 explicitly permits it. The Home Secretary can create an ID record on anyone he likes under Section 2(4), and can take the information from any official records unders Section 9. Passport applications can be made to work for this purpose much more easily than other records, because they are run by the same agency, and are already being restructured with a view to linking to passports and ID cards.

Q. Doesn’t the UK Identity & Passport Service (UKIPS) say it won’t put old data into the ID system?

A. It could change its mind later if ID card enrolment is going badly, and because there is political pressure to get the scheme running before the next General Election. We can’t afford to take the chance that the Home Office — which has repeatedly mislead the public on nature of the project, and whose ministers have sometimes contradicted themselves within 48 hours during the course of the Parliamentary process — may be telling the truth in this case.

Q. If you don't already have a passport, can you still opt out of ID by getting one now? Or do you have to be renewing an existing passport?

A. Having a passport doesn’t protect you against being registered. But the UK IPS plan is that passport applicants will be the first to be registered. So if you think you are likely to need one in the next ten years, you'd be best to apply now. You will avoid ID via the passport route, and the 'interview' that UKIPS intends to introduce for first time applicants. But the rules have already changed to make you give many more personal details than renewers.

Q. Do I have to use the Premium Service to avoid getting on the ID Register?

A. No. You can renew in the ordinary way. (The Register is not yet built. When it is, there will be no easy ways out or it would be pointless.)

Q. Isn’t renewing a waste of money?

We reckon that if you renew your passport in the ordinary way and it has up to EIGHT years to run, you will be financially ahead for all that time. When the price rises to the government estimate of £93, that'll be £42 (80%) more than it costs now. A ten year passport: £51 - Ten years of freedom: priceless.


About renewal procedures

Q. How can I renew my passport if it has more than 9 months on it?

A. Anyone can in practice renew their passport at any time. Otherwise people would be prevented from going abroad for extended periods.

Q. If I renew my passport won’t I only get an extra 9 months?

A. Lots of people find the UKIPS web site confusing:

"You do not have to wait until your passport is nearly expired
to renew it, but we can add no more than 9 months unexpired
validity from the old passport to the new one. You can renew
your passport whenever you wish, but you must pay the full fee
and no refund can be given for the unexpired validity in the
old passport."

The minister has confirmed to us in writing that you will receive a passport valid for ten years, plus (if UKIPS/HO decide to give it to you) up to an additional 9 months on top of that. They can't issue an adult passport valid for less than 10 years without seriously changing the rules and their own internal processes.

Direct UKIPS quote:

"No, our policy has not changed. You may still renew your passport whenever you wish, as the new passport will run from when it is processed and not from the date on which the old passport expires. Up to a maximum of 9 months unexpired time may be added to your new passport when renewing before the expiry date. Any further remaining time however will be lost."

Q. I am going abroad on holiday in July (or August, etc) and I will need a valid passsport at that point. Does renewing mean giving up the old one?

A. Yes. So you need to plan a little bit. There are same-day and one-week services available at extra costs. Though there are no guarantees, and the rules could change at any time, we expect you should be able to renew in the same way until at least the summer.

Q. Can you say how long it will take? ***UPDATED***

A. No. That depends on UKIPS, but they are busy expanding staff for changing the passport system, and we have seen no delays yet. Renewals through the Post Office’s “check and send” service were running at 10 to 15 days by the end of May 2006. After March 26th 2007, applying for a new passport will take 4 to 6 weeks.

Q. Won’t lots of people renewing slow the system down?

A. We really can't predict what response we get, or how UKIPS is going to cope. They currently issue about 300,000 passports each month during peak season and say they are going to interview everyone who applies eventually. So if they can’t handle a little extra paperwork…

Q. What if I’m not resident in the UK?

A. Get in touch with the British consulate as you should still have time to renew. (If you find out that this is NOT true in a your country, let us know. Send an e-mail to and we will see what can be done.)

Q. I have dual nationality. How does this affect me?

A. If you want to retain a British passport then you should renew it now. There are no reasons to expect exceptions when passport applications become part of the ID system.


About this site

Q. Your MS Word factsheet is password protected. I can't get to look at it!

A. You can read & print the MS Word file by choosing the 'Open Read Only' option.

Q. Do you have any posters?

A. Several people have made some and posted them on NO2ID's discussion forums, try - scroll down...


"Take a hike, Tony" factsheet for those
APPLYING for their first adult passport.
Please distribute as widely as possible:

DOWNLOAD factsheet — 39KB PDF file

PRINT factsheet from browser


Factsheet 2 - for those
RENEWING their passport:

Click here to download factsheet in PDF format

DOWNLOAD factsheet — 39KB PDF file

DOWNLOAD factsheet — 56KB MS Word file

PRINT factsheet from browser — front page
PRINT factsheet from browser — back page


Factsheet for British citizens abroad:

DOWNLOAD factsheet — 53KB MS Word file

This is an information website, produced and maintained on behalf of the NO2ID campaign — see
Thanks to Corporate Watch and rareformnewmedia for use of factsheet graphic.