Holidaymakers can no longer carry over any unused months when renewing their passports, under a new rule introduced on 10th September 2018.
What has changed?
Passports are usually valid for 10 years. Before the changes, you could renew your passport up to nine months in advance of its expiry. This would allow you to carry forward any remaining months to your new passport.
For example, if your passport expired in May 2019, you would have been able to renew it in September 2018 and receive your new one valid until May 2029 (10 years plus the 9 months).
Under the new rules this no longer applies, and any existing months will be lost if you renew early. That same passport, if renewed now, would be valid until September 2028.
Many countries require you to have up to six months’ validity left on your passport when visiting. The Foreign Office has full information on entry requirements for specific countries, which can be seen on their website https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
British passports are usually valid for 10 years, but if you’re travelling to a country which requires you to enter with excess validity remaining on your passport, you may have no choice but to renew early.