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Price of British passport is about to soar

By Claire McNeilly

The cost of an adult British passport is to rise to as much as £94.75 for anyone who uses the Post Office for their application - or a whopping £177 for those who need it in an emergency.

And, if the Home Office's proposals are agreed by Parliament, people applying by post will see far bigger hikes from the end of next month than those who have access to the internet.

The charges for an online passport application will go up from £72.50 to £75.50, while postal applications will increase from £72.50 to £85 from March 27.

Meanwhile, the cost of a child's passport will increase from £46.50 to £58.50 by post, whereas the cost of online applications will only rise from £46 to £49.

If, however, you pay for an adult passport at the Post Office using its Check and Send service, the price will rise to £94.75 - up from the current cost of £82.25.

The 15% hike means it will be almost £20 dearer to apply for a passport in this way compared to applying online, as it is treated as a postal application.

The Post Office adds £9.75 to the passport fee and sends it using Special Delivery.

That won't change, but the added postal cost brings the total price to £94.75.

The cost of an adult Irish passport, which anyone born in Northern Ireland is entitled to, is €80 (£70.77) plus an administration fee of €9.50 (£8.40), a total of €89.50 or £70.19.

A spokesman for the Post Office said it intends to launch a digital process later in the year in order to bring costs down.

"Her Majesty's Passport Office has done a review of passport fees and has confirmed that these will increase on March 27 this year," he said.

"The new fee increase will reflect the lower processing costs for digital applications.

"This will not impact the price of the Check and Send service provided by the Post Office. In addition, the Post Office will also be able to charge the lower digital fee for our own digital passport transaction, which is due to launch later this year."

Adults who need a last minute passport will be stung the most when the new charges come in, with premium same day applications soaring 38.2% from £128 to £177.

Anyone who has nine months left on their old passport can benefit from renewing it ahead of these changes.

People can renew their passport at any time - and any remaining time up to a maximum of nine months on a current passport is transferred to the new document.

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