HM Passport Office, or HMPO, is the UK Government body which provides all British passports issued in the UK. Internationally recognised by British citizens the world over, the presence of ‘HM’ (or ‘Her Majesty’s) in the formal title of the office provides firm recognition of the role of the Crown in the issue of passport, bearing as they do the Royal Coat of Arms.
The Passport Office’s stated purpose is to provide accurate, secure records and to provide passport services that are trusted and internationally recognised. HM Passport Office supports the Home Office, which it is part of, in keeping the UK safe, cutting crime, preventing terrorism and reducing illegal immigration. The current Director General of HMPO is Mark Thomson, the former Managing Director of Royal Mail International, who came into the post in March 2015.
The UK Passport Office prides itself on providing a gold-plated service. As the only government organisation to provide passports, they provide free or cheaper services than unofficial, non-governmental online services. Over five million applications for passports are processed by HM Passport Office every year, and the fees which are charged for passport and certificate services provide the majority of the body’ funding. HMPO is also responsible for contracting out the production of passports; it was announced in April 2018 that Gemalto UK have received the passport manufacturing and personalisation contract for an 11-and-a-half year term.
|Department||Call Connection Phone Numbers - we are in no way affiliated with any organisation mentioned|
|Passport Office Liverpool 101 Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L3 9BP||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 902 7071|
|Passport Applications||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 902 7074|
|Passport Renewals||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 538 5237|
|Passport Office Complaints||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 515 8144|
|Passport Adviceline||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 902 7072|
|Home Office||(Calls cost 7ppm + network charges) 0843 902 8941|
Previously a governmental agency, HM Passport Office was brought within the remit of the Home Office, and therefore the responsibility of the Home Secretary, in October 2014. This change made the office directly accountable to ministers and, following a significant backlog of applications being processed in the summer of 2014, had the express aim of improving information sharing between HM Passport Office, ministers and the rest of the Home Office.
HMPO is based within the Home Office at Marsham Street, London. There are also seven regional offices, in cities in all four regions of the United Kingdom, including Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast and Newport, as well as in the nation’s capital. Before attending a passport office site, a collection time must have been arranged, and the passport application fully completed. The Passport Office also encompasses a nationwide network of interview office sites. In addition to the processing of passport applications, and granting and issuing of passports as appropriate, HM Passport Office also arranges interviews of individuals making applications, which may be required for a person to prove their identity.
First-time adult passport applicants are usually required to attend an interview to verify their identity, as a fraud prevention measure. If asked to attend an interview, an individual may be asked questions over the course of around 30 minutes in order to ascertain that they are who they claim to be. After this interview, the application would be processed as normal. A range of sites are available for an interview to take place, though the Passport Office does not promise that requests for a specific date and time will be able to be met.
In the course of making a passport application, it is possible to track the progress of an application online. HMPO’s website, www.passport.service.gov.uk website provides information, advice and services pertaining to passport eligibility, applications and renewals. Urgent passport applications can be made online and appointments can also be booked through the website. There is also available an online enquiry form, which may be used for general advice or to make a complaint. Under proposals made the UK Government in January 2018, it will be £10.50 cheaper for adult passports, and £9.50 cheaper for a child’s, to be processed online rather than by post.
There are also several avenues through which HM Passport Office can be contacted for help and advice through the Passport adviceline, available by telephone in the UK on 0300 330 0901 and from overseas on +44 (0) 300 330 0901, and also by textphone on 0300 330 0808. This service is available seven days a week, with extended weekday opening hours of 8am until 8pm. HM Passport Office can also be contacted by post at PO Box 767, Southport, PR8 9PW.