All Service Personnel (SP) and their dependants must adhere to the following procedure when wishing to apply for:
- A first British Passport for new-born babies in the USA. Also see Birth Registrations.
- A first British Passport for adults.
- A replacement for a passport that is lost or stolen
- Any changes to an existing passport
Applying for any of the above
Applying for a passport from outside the UK must be done on a passport application form obtained from the Personnel Support Team at the British Embassy in Washington DC (BDSUS-SG-Pers-Team-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk). These are the only application forms which will be accepted by the UK Passport Office for SP serving overseas and their dependants.
An application form will be sent in the post to the individual and a copy of the instructions and Guidance Notes will be emailed in order to complete the form.
You are to read the Guidance Notes thoroughly before completing the Passport Application Form. If in doubt, please seek advice from the Personnel Support Team at the British Embassy in Washington DC (BDSUS-SG-Pers-Team-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk).
When completing the Application Form, refer to the Guidance Notes to see if it needs to be countersigned. If required, the form will need to be countersigned and one photograph must be certified by an Officer of Capt. (OF2) rank or above – UK passport holders only can countersign. If there is no one who has known the applicant for the requisite period of two years, an officer with enough knowledge of the individual is to countersign, stating the actual period they have known the individual. However, this period should be not less than 1 month.
Please bear in mind that passport pictures need to be UK Passport compliant: size 45mm high x 35mm wide, not cut down. Ask your provider to supply UK standard Passport photographs.
You are NOT to dispatch the application yourself.
Cost and Payment
Passports must be paid for by the individual in the first instance (via this Payment Mandate form). If the UK Passport request conforms with the Provision of Passports and Visas at Public Expense policy, all costs associated with the application (passport fees and photo costs) can be reclaimed via JPA or using the offline claims system.
Once complete, please return the application form to the Personnel Support Team at the British Embassy in Washington DC with all other required Supporting Documents. (Originals only -they will be returned).
Once your application has been checked by to the Personnel Support Team at the British Embassy in Washington DC, it will be sent under a unit covering letter by recorded delivery to the Identity & Passport Service Armed Forces Team in Peterborough, UK through the BFPO service.
For first time (initial) applications for children born to parents in Crown Service, a certificate on unit headed paper will also be provided.
New passports are normally received at the British Embassy Washington within 4-6 weeks, but we cannot guarantee that this will be the case.
Provided the application has been completed correctly and it has been authorised by HM Passport Office, the passport will be produced at their central UK printing centre and returned to the British Embassy by BFPO. Any supporting documentation will be returned separately by HM Passport Office; again, to the British Embassy.
UK Passport Renewals
All Service Personnel (SP) and their dependants must adhere to the following procedure when wishing to:
- Renew your UK passport
Please be aware that the UK Passport Renewal Process for all BDSUS parented personnel and their family members has moved online.
How long it takes
It takes up to three weeks to get a passport if you apply online. It takes longer if you apply by post.
Use this service to renew your passport online. It currently costs £75.50 if you are applying from the UK or £86 plus a £19.86 courier fee from the US. There are different rules if your passport is lost, stolen or damaged or you need to change your name or personal details (see above).
- to get a digital photo (the webpage will show you how)
- a credit or debit card
- your current or expired UK passport.
In order to apply for a UK Passport Renewal, please follow the below process:
- Go to the following webpage https://www.gov.uk/renew-adult-passport/renew
- Follow the on-screen instructions as you progress through the various steps
- Complete the declaration and online payment details
- Send your old passport to the address provided and pay the postage to return the old passport.
Select the option that you are applying from the USA, not the UK on the first page.
If your UK Passport renewal request conforms with the Provision of Passports and Visas at Public Expense policy, all costs associated with the application (passport fees and postal costs) can be reclaimed via JPA or using the offline claims system.
Visas will not be transferred to a new passport. Both the old and new passport will be returned, and the individual will have to carry both passports when travelling to or from the USA for the duration of the visa. See Visa Renewals.