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Why now is the time to renew your passport if there’s a no-deal Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement some passports won’t be accepted for travel to Schengen Area countries, such as Spain and Italy

British holidaymakers planning on travelling immediately after Brexit must renew their passports this week, or risk being unable to leave the country.

As we’ve warned, earlier this year, if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on 31 October 2019, some passports won’t be accepted for travel to Schengen Area countries, such as Spain and Italy.

British travellers would be subject to existing rules for visitors from non-EU countries that require that passports to have been issued within the past 10 years and have at least six months’ validity remaining on the day of travel.

Until recently, UK citizens who renewed their passport before it had expired had any remaining validity added to the validity of the new passport, up to a maximum of nine months.

But after a no-deal Brexit, any period beyond 10 years, will not be valid for travel to Schengen Area countries.

From passports to driving licenses: Find out everything you need to know about travel after Brexit 

Renew today

Check if you need to renew by using the government’s online Passport Checker.

The Passport Office advises applicants that renewals can take up to three weeks, meaning that you must apply this week if you plan to travel immediately after Brexit.

If it needs more information about your application, it may take longer. And as more people rush to renew, the busier the Passport Office is likely to get.

If you’re worried, see our advice on how to pay extra to get your passport application processed quicker.

However, the Home Office has said: ‘HM Passport Office will have the appropriate resources in place to handle the extra renewal applications, in addition to its normal volumes.’

Leaving the EU

Which? cuts through the noise to find the facts. Our practical and impartial consumer advice, rigorously researched and regularly delivered by email, can help you prepare for when the UK leaves the EU. Sign up for email updates.

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