By: Simon B
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Getting a UK passport
Your passport allows you to travel to other countries and to come back into the UK. It allows you to identify yourself as a British citizen. When you present your passport to immigration officials in other countries, they know what your rights are. You may need more than a passport to enter a foreign country; you may need visas or certificates to prove that you’ve had particular vaccinations as well.
All children born after the 5 October 1998, need a passport. If your child was born before that date and you added that child’s details to your passport, they can go on travelling with you until they’re 16. However, if the passport expires in the meantime or has to be amended – perhaps because you’ve changed your name – your children will have to apply for their own passports.
The guidelines that come with the application form set out rules about the type of photograph you need on your passport and the documents you need to present when you apply in order to prove your identity. You can get an application form from main post offices. You can get more information from the UK Passport Service (0870-521-0410). In certain circumstances, organisations in the UK need proof of your identity. A bank may ask for ID when you’re opening an account, and you can use a passport for that purpose. Many internal flight operators ask for photo ID, too, and if you don’t have a UK driving licence with a photograph, you should carry your passport.