Brexit is set to spell a number of changes for the British passport – and the government has now issued a new warning for travel advice about the document. If there is a no-deal Brexit, new passport validity rules will apply for travel to most European countries. The UK government is now urging Britons to check the date of their passport’s expiry – you may need to renew it soon. It’s been revealed that the Home Office will send around one million text messages to British passport holders who may need to renew their passports early.
The texts will encourage Britons to check if their passport will meet the new rules.
The first rule that passports will need to meet to travel to the majority of countries in Europe is that they must have at least six months left on them.
The second is that any extra months on a passport over 10 years old may not count towards the six months needed.
A passport may have extra months if the holder renewed their previous passport before it expired.
The Home Office said in a statement: “The texts will be sent to those who provided their mobile number when they applied for their current passport.
“Not everyone provides a mobile number, and contact details may have changed, so even those who do not receive a message should check their passport.”
Britons should be aware that it takes up to three weeks to renew a passport – but the process could take longer should more information be needed or your application has not been filled in correctly.
It costs £75.50 to renew or replace your passport if you apply online or £85 if you fill out a paper form.
The text message reminders are part of the government’s ‘Get Ready for Brexit’ campaign.
Other advice to people travelling to Europe after Brexit includes getting travel insurance so they are covered for healthcare, making sure they have the right driving documents and getting a health certificate for their pet.
Even if your passport’s validity is of no concern it’s important to make sure the document itself is in a decent state.
If a passport “has more than reasonable wear and tear” it may not be accepted as a valid form of identity.
Brexit should no longer affect Britons heading off on holidays next summer with UK airlines should there be no-deal Brexit, it was announced earlier this month.
Under previous European Commission (EC) legislation, the deadline for their unilateral contingency legislation was set for March 2020.
Customers will now able to safely book travel arrangements further in advance.
With the deadline extended to October 2020, flight schedules will not be affected. The news is set to affect the more than 160 million passengers who travel by air between the UK and the EU each year.
EHIC cards are another area of confusion for some people. “Five million go out of date each year and no one checks,” MoneysavinExpert Martin Lewis has warned.
He explained if there was a no-deal Brexit, EHICs will no longer be valid – although this may be renegotiated in the future. Nevertheless, Lewis urged Britons to get themselves a valid EHIC card. Travellers should remember this is always free. Any service that requires you to pay is fraudulent. EHIC cards can be obtained via the NHS or EHIC site.