The UK Rules
Photos and Documents

Sending Your Photos and Documents

Check what photos and documents you need to send to get an adult passport. The required documentation differs depending on where you were born - in or out of the United Kingdom.

ORIGINAL DOCUMENTATION: As a rule, HM Passport Office (HMPO) do not accept photocopies. You must send the original documents.

They will accept official copies of most certificates. You can order a copy of a birth certificate from the General Register Office ordering service.

There are some restrictions on sending certified copies to HMPO. They will accept a certified translation of a document that is not written in English or in Welsh.

You can certify a document as a true copy of the original. In this case, a professional would sign and date it (e.g. a solicitor).

Some laminated documents may get accepted when applying for an adult passport. But, the lamination must have been the only format used when the documents were first issued.

Passport Photos and Countersignatures

You must supply two (2) identical passport photos. You must also get a 'countersignatory' to sign the application form and on the reverse side of one (1) of the photographs.

Born in the United Kingdom (or adopted)

Before the 1st of January 1983

Were you born or adopted in the United Kingdom before 1983? If so, you will need to send the full version of your birth certificate (or adoption certificate).

Born Since the 1st of January 1983

The photos and documents needed for an adult passport changed from January 1st 1983. Were you were born on or after the 1st of January in the United Kingdom? If so, you must send your full birth certificate (or the adoption certificate) and either:

Note: It must be a full version birth certificate to show details of the parents. You must also send your parents' marriage certificate if you are sending documents relating to your father.

Born Outside of the United Kingdom

If You Have a Certificate of Naturalisation (or registration)

Were you born overseas of the UK and you have a certificate of naturalisation or registration? If so, you should send (both):

Citizen of a British Overseas Territory (born before January 1st 1983)

The citizens of British overseas territories (BOT) should send all of these documents:

Born before 1st of January 1983 and Father was Born in the UK

If this applies to your situation you will need to send all of these documents:

Born Since the 1st of January 1983

If this applies to your situation you will need to send all of these documents:

Note: You may need to include the marriage certificate that shows when your father married your mother. It would apply if any of these particular documents relate to your father.

HMPO Guidance Booklet: Applying for a Passport

This list of required documentation for an adult passport does not cover all circumstances. But, HM Passport Office have produced a guidance booklet.

Reading the guide, titled 'Applying for a passport', will help you avoid having your passport delayed. It highlights several common mistakes, including:


Getting an Adult Passport | General information and a help guide with steps for British nationals to follow.

Passport Services for Disabled | Using the free facilities and passport services if you're disabled or blind.

Choosing How to get Your Documents Returned

As a rule, HMPO send back the documents by regular postal services. But, you can choose to have them sent by secure delivery for a small fee (around £5). You can choose to use this option on the child passport application form.

Photographs and Documentation for Adult Passports in the United Kingdom