Renew UK passport in Spain

Renew UK passport in Spain, quite easy now.

In the past it was possible to arrange a replacement passport using the consulate in Madrid, however, things have changed, and they no longer issue passports. If you are living in Spain however and your British passport is about to expire, there’s no need to worry, because it’s now possible to have it renewed while living here in Spain.

From the 13th of May 2013, the digital passport application processes are dealt with by the Passport Office in the UK. The good news is that you don’t actually have to go there for your new passport, you can do it all online and via post.

How to Renew an Adult or Child’s UK Passport

There are two ways in which you can renew your passport online when living overseas.

First is applying Online

Applying online is very straightforward and is the quickest way in which to get your passport. You will need to supply information electronically first and then send in your old passport. This is what you will need to do

  1. Get an approved quality digital photo. More information on the criteria for the photos can be seen at
  2. Complete the application form online
  3. Make payment online
  4. Send your old passport to the address indicated

To start your online application visit

Renew your UK passport from abroad


Applying Via Post

The application process to apply via post is again relatively straightforward although it will take longer, around 4 weeks from when the documents have been received in the UK. There is not much to be gained doing it by post but here is how you do it.

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Print the form off and then make the payment
  3. Sign the form and send old passport and application

See the following page to complete the process

Note that you can save the application online and you will be given a username and password. You will also need to have a printer and debit/credit card to make payment and print the application.

Supporting Documentation

You will need to provide the following documentation to accompany your application:

  1. Your existing, or expired ten-year adult, or five-year child passport if appropriate. Please note that this must be an original as copies are not accepted
  2. You will also need two photographs of yourself cut to passport photograph size. To ensure that the photographs are acceptable, They must be in colour; must be of identical size (45mm x 35mm), and must be of your head only, without any headdress or hat, and your facial expression should be neutral (no smiling, grimacing, or otherwise pulling a face).

Note that if you are applying via the online process, you will not need to send any photos via post.

See the following page for a complete list

Certifying Your Photographs

If your appearance has changed substantially, then your photographs will need to be certified, and you can follow the requirements and instructions as given on the website. If your old passport photo can be used to verify your new passport photos there is no need to get them certified.

Further information on passport photo requirements can be found here

How long does it take?

The length of time it would take to issue your new are passport will vary depending on the time of year and how busy the passport office is, but as a rough guide, you should expect to receive your new passport in around 4-6 weeks from receipt of your application. If you are applying for a first passport, it can take up to 8 weeks.

When you receive your new passport, you should check it through carefully to ensure that all the details are correct to prevent problems in the future. That is important because getting mistakes rectified straight away only needs a quick call and follow their instructions.

Contacting the Passport Advice Line

The website has all the information you need but if you still have a concern you can contact the passport advice line using the details below.

Telephone: +44 (0) 300 222 0000

Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 8 pm (UK time)

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9 am to 5:30 pm (UK time)

Lost, Stolen or Expired Passports

If you have lost your passport or if it has been stolen and you do not have time to get a replacement, you can apply to your local British Consulate or Embassy and obtain an Emergency Travel Document or ETD. If you prefer to do it in person there is one in the centre of Malaga for example and others around Spain.

This allows you to travel through up to five countries. In order to get an ETD, you will need to report the loss to your nearest Guardia Civil or National Police office. They will then issue you with a report that you will need to show when applying for the ETD.

Applying for an Emergency Travel Document

You can however now apply for your ETD online at the following web address

You may need to attend an appointment in person at your nearest British consulate, Embassy or High Commission, but will be notified during the online procedure.

You can find your nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission at

The following documentation will be required:-

You can make a provisional police report in English by calling 902 102 112, then go the nearest National Police station to collect the final report. This number is very useful.

Last advice about passports is this. When living abroad it is wise to keep your passport safe and carry other forms of identification on you such as a driving licence with photo ID. Passports sat in a back pocket is just asking for trouble. Hiding them at home or where you are staying is a much better option.

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