Britons looking to renew their passports can now do it digitally at 725 Post Office locations, it has confirmed.
Working in conjunction with Her Majesty’s Passport Office, the cost of renewing a passport digitally via Post Office branches is £75.50 – the same rate as online via the gov.uk website – compared with £85 for a paper-based application.
However, an additional fee of £15.40 applies to cover the cost of in-branch support, bringing the total cost to £90.90.
The Post Office says teams will be on hand to ensure applications are correct and processed as quickly as possible to explain the fee, which makes up almost 17 per cent of the cost.
New service: Britons can now renew their passports digitally at the Post Office – but it comes at a premium
The fee also covers the cost of taking of digital photographs, the application being checked before sending and the secure delivery of the customer’s old passport back to HMPO via Royal Mail Special Delivery.
Martin Edwards, managing director for identity services, said: ‘This is an exciting move for the Post Office.
‘The Passport Office has recommended customers use our trusted check and send service for over 20 years – and now we can offer a service which combines the speed and convenience of a digital application with the support and reassurance that comes with a branch-based service.
‘This new service shows how we are constantly developing and expanding our services, bringing together the physical and digital worlds and offering even greater convenience and choice for customers.’
The launch comes after the Passport Office gave customers the ability to upload digital photos for adult passport applications earlier in the year.
New digital check and send passport service available in 725 branches across the UK
The digital service costs £75.50 but it was criticised as some believe it penalises those who don’t use the internet, thanks to the price difference between digital and paper renewals.
Customers can still apply for passports through Post Office branches using paper forms and can add on the check and send service should they wish, which is a smaller £9.75 fee compared to the digital cost.
However, paper applications cost £85 – and adding on the check and send bumps up the total price to £94.75.
Since 2012 the Post Office says it has invested in, and modernised, more than 7,500 branches, and improved services for customers, adding more than 200,000 extra opening hours a week across the network.
Mark Thomson, HM Passport Office director general, said: ‘We want to make sure we have a modern and easy-to-use service for the millions of passport holders and applicants, which is why the Post Office’s check and send service is really valuable.
‘Our customers want convenience and peace of mind and this new digital service will make it even easier to submit their passport application – it is precisely the sort of innovation they are looking for.’
Customers can also access other services such as everyday banking for personal and business banking customers, mails, online shopping returns, over the counter bill payments, travel money and more.
To save time and money for a renewal, you can apply for your passport at home using your phone or tablet via the Government website – it costs £75.50, with all the information listed here.
This is far cheaper than the price at the Post Office and applicants can upload a digital photo which is instantly rejected or accepted.
In total, the whole process takes 10 minutes on average, according to the Government website.
The cost of an online application is £25 cheaper than the Post Office check and send service