Passport prices rise againPrice hike 'to fund new security'

25 July 2006

The cost of a British passport is to rise for the second time in ten months to pay for new anti-fraud measures, says the Home Office.

A standard ten-year British passport will cost £66 from 5 October - a 29 per cent rise from the current £51 price. Last December the fee jumped from £42, and the two rises constitute a 57 per cent hike.

The Home Office says the cost rises are to fund the inclusion of a digital photograph in a microchip stored in the passport, plus enhanced background checks on applicants and new face-to-face interviews for first-time passport applicants which come into force early next year.

New ePassports

Home Office minister Joan Ryan said: ‘There is a cost to the anti-fraud measures that we are introducing, but we are clear that it is a price that must be paid to protect the integrity of our travel documents and improve the security of our borders.

‘From the end of this summer all new British passports will be ePassports, containing a secure chip storing the holder's personal details and a scan of their photo, as well as other improved security features.'

A standard child passport increases from £34 to £45 which, on top of a 36 per cent increase in December last year, brings the total rise to £20 in 10 months.

 The Identity and Passport Service has now issued more than a million ePassports after beginning a gradual transition in March. The ePassport carries a symbol on the front cover below the royal crest which denotes that it is a biometric document.