People applying for their first ever passport are being advised to get their application forms in well before they are due to travel once new security measures come into force.
From June 1, first-time adult passport applicants will no longer be able to use the fast track one-week service, as the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) introduces face-to-face interviews as part of the passport application process.
Bernard Herdan, of the IPS, said: “If you’re planning a trip abroad this summer make sure your passport is top of the ‘to do’ list and get it organised now, before you book your holiday.
“With identity theft on the rise, new developments are being introduced to help fight passport fraud and forgery. The interviews will be brief and straightforward, and are a simple and effective way to protect our customers’ identities, making it much harder for a fraudster to get a passport.”
The IPS says that the interviews will apply to applicants aged 16 or over and that people should allow more time for their passport application to be processed, a period of six weeks is recommended. It is also advising people not to make travel arrangements until they have received their passport.
The fast track one-week service will continue to be available as usual for all other passport customers, such as for passport renewals.