Baby Passport UK
If you are wondering whether your baby need a passport to travel overseas, the simple answer is yes. You cannot ‘legally’ take your child overseas of the United Kingdom unless they have their own passport.
Toddlers change size, and develop new facial features, over the first few years from birth. Even so, an individual passport for a baby will be valid for five years, as a rule.
The general advice is to apply for a baby passport at least two months in advance. The system can take a long time to process an application.
You can get a baby passport form online or at any Post Office branch that provides the passport check and send service. You will need to print out the baby passport form (or have it mailed to you).
Applying for a Baby’s Passport
This is what you will need to make an application for a separate passport for your baby:
- A completed baby passport application form (the United Kingdom version).
- Two identical passport-sized colour photos of your child.
- One of the photographs needs signing on the reverse side by a professional who knows both you and your baby.
- A method of payment of (check the current fee to apply for a child passport).
- The original documentation which proves your baby is British (e.g. a birth certificate and parent’s British passport details).
The rules about the professional signing the back of the photo mean they also should sign the form confirming that they have known you for a minimum of two years. Examples of accepted professionals include an accountant, journalist, dentist, teacher, police officers, or solicitors.
As a rule, new passports for babies take around three to four weeks to arrive. But, the actual length of time could increase during peak periods.
Getting a Baby Passport Photo
The guidelines for photographs used in baby passports are clear. Your child or baby passport needs to show their face against a plain cream or plain light grey background. Their facial features must be ‘easily’ visible. The rules allow your baby’s mouth to be open and they can smile as much as they like.
There is no particular requirement for the eyes to be facing into the camera lens. Of course, these rules are very different from passport photos for adults and older children.
Tip for Getting a Baby Passport: Try to capture a picture of your baby while he is sleeping if he is younger than one. There is no requirement for their eyes to be open.
You might prefer to take a digital photo of your baby at home and then have it professionally converted into a passport photo. If you take your baby’s passport photo in a public booth, the child must be alone in the picture. That means photo booths can be difficult to use for the correct height of the frame.
Note: Make sure there are no toddler type toys or dummies viewable in the shot.
A professional high-street photographer or local pharmacy is a good alternative. They will often use a plain white sheet or beanbag for a baby’s photographic moment of stardom.