To apply for a British passport, you need certain documents that prove your identity and citizenship. Though the application process is usually straightforward, it’s important to ensure that you have the correct documentation.

The requirements are slightly different when you’re applying for a first adult or child’s passport, renewing an existing passport, changing your name/gender, or obtaining a passport after naturalisation. In this blog post, we’ll note the key documents you need, whichever category you fit into.

First Adult Passport
First Child Passport
Passport Renewal
Emergency Passport
Change of Name Passport
Change of Gender Passport
First Passport After Naturalisation
Overseas British Citizen Passport


A hand lifts up a modern dark blue British passport in a central London street lined with restaurants.


What Documents Do You Need to Apply For Your First British Passport?

To apply for your first adult British passport, you will need an original British Birth Certificate. This is assuming you were born in the UK.

For those born/adopted in the UK after 1982, you will need to send one of the following documents relating to your mother or father*:

  • Their Birth Certificate
  • Their Passport or Passport Number
  • Their Registration or Naturalisation Certificate
  • Evidence of their immigration status at the time of your birth

*For documents relating to your father, you will also need to send your parents’ marriage certificate.


Can you use a certified copy of a birth certificate for passport (UK) applications?

For your first passport application, you will need to submit the original British Birth Certificate as proof of citizenship. If you have lost your birth certificate, you can apply for a new one via the General Register Office.


Which Documents Do You Need For a Child’s Passport Application?

When applying for your child’s first passport, you will need a countersignatory to certify their identity. The documents you have to submit are as follows:

  • Birth or Adoption Certificate
  • Proof of British nationality, e.g., parent’s passport details or a Registration Certificate
  • (If applicable) Court orders relating to parental responsibility or residency arrangements


Which Documents Do You Need for a British Passport Renewal?

To renew your British passport (without a change of name), you will simply need to send the most recent passport you hold, along with two valid passport photos.

If you have lost or damaged your most recent passport, you must cancel it and then apply for a replacement. Someone who has known you for at least two years will need to confirm your identity online. You may also be asked to attend a video interview.


Emergency Passport Renewal UK Documentation

If you use the 1-week fast-track service, the documents required are the same, but you will need to include a paper application form from your local post office. (Online application is not available).

If you send someone to collect your new passport in your place, they will need to take the following:

  • Your most recent passport
  • A letter signed and dated by you, naming them and giving them permission to collect the passport
  • Their passport or driving license


How to Change the Name on Your Passport in the UK

If you’ve taken on a new name, you will need to apply for a passport renewal, which involves sending your most recent passport. The supporting documentation you need to send will depend on whether you’ve changed your name in marriage, for personal reasons, or after divorce. 

If you’ve changed your name for personal reasons, you will need a Deed Poll (a legal document that proves your change of name).

Many people who change their name in marriage/civil partnership will send a Marriage Certificate or Civil Partnership Certificate to prove the change. However, this is only acceptable if you are taking your spouse’s name. If you are double-barrelling or creating a new surname, you will need to include a deed poll.

To apply for a new passport up to three months before a wedding or civil partnership ceremony, you can fill in a ‘Passports for newlyweds and civil partners’ form.

When changing the name on your passport after divorce, you should send:

  • A signed statement declaring you’ve returned to a previous surname
  • A letter that shows you’re using the previous name
  • Your birth certificate or a marriage certificate displaying both names


How to Change the Gender on Your Passport in the UK

To update the gender on your passport, you will need to apply for a renewal. Most people choose to send a Gender Recognition Certificate as proof of the change. You can also send a new birth or adoption certificate displaying your acquired gender. 

Alternatively, send a doctor’s letter confirming they consider your change of gender to be permanent. (In this case, you also need to include a deed poll and a letter that shows you’re using your new name.) 


What You Need to Apply for Your First British Passport After Naturalisation

To apply for your first British passport after becoming a citizen, you will need to submit a valid passport from your previous country and a certificate of naturalisation. This is a document confirming you have obtained British citizenship after residing in the UK for a specified length of time.

You may need to include a certified translation of your documentation. In this case, you will need to supply a notary public with the translated copy and a certificate of authenticity from the translator.


British Overseas Citizen Passport Requirements

British Overseas Citizens can apply for a British passport by submitting all of the following documents:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Current Passport
  • Passport used to enter the UK (or the foreign passport you’re included on)


Frequently Asked Questions

What documents do I need for a passport application?

To apply for a passport renewal, you usually just need to submit your most recent passport. For your first passport, however, you need your birth certificate. It’s important to review the information in this post in full to check if your circumstances call for further documentation.

Do I need my parents’ birth certificate to get a UK passport?

If you were born or adopted in the UK after 1982, you need proof of one parent’s British citizenship. This could be their birth certificate, passport information, or registration certificate.

Can you renew your passport online?

Yes, you can renew your passport online via Though you can upload a digital photo, you will need to send your old passport and any supporting documents physically. 

Where can I get a paper passport application form in the UK?

You can collect a paper passport application form from your local post office. Alternatively, use the official government website or call the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000 to have it posted to your home address.


Notarisation and Apostille for Passport Application Documents

The documents you submit for your passport application need to be original, therefore notarisation and apostille are not required.

If your documents are not in English or Welsh, however, you will need to include a certified translation. We can verify a translated copy of your documents to ensure it is accepted by the British authorities.

Once you have your new passport, you may need a certified copy for certain uses overseas. We provide fast and professional passport notary services and are familiar with the requirements of countries across the globe.


Having the right documents is crucial for a successful British passport application. To request certified translations or notarised copies of your documents, get in touch with us today.