Honeymoon Ready: A Guide To Applying For A Post Dated Passport
By guest blogger, Cecile Mazuet, founder of NameSwitch.
If you're dreaming of jetting off to sandy shores with your sparkling new ring, husband and matching passports then this guide will tell you how to make your dreams come true!
Now it’s not mission impossible, but you do need 3 key things to be aligned to pull this off…
Possibly the most crucial element you need on your side is time. Ideally 3+ months in advance of your wedding to allow for a smooth application with a little buffer in case there is a surge in passport demands. 4 weeks is possible, but starting to cut it fine – your nerves won’t thank you for leaving this one too close to the wire.
Should you find yourself amiss of time, the safest option is of course to opt to travel in your maiden name and switch names on you passport and all other paperwork when you return.
Short on time? If you’re adamant that you want to pull this off then you can consider paying a little extra for the 1 week Fast Track service – this is high risk as your travel documents must match your passport name at all points of your journey, not just immigration on both sides, but also at your resort/hotel.
• The passport office put on extra staff during the peak season (June –August).
• They guarantee a straightforward application that will result in a passport being issued within 7 days during this period.
• However, you need to allow up to a week for your appointment, which will require some travel and time off work to get to your closest passport office.
Honeymooners often travel to far and fabulous destinations - after all this is the trip of a lifetime to celebrate your nuptials! The critical question to ask is this: Do I need a visa?
Combining a visa with a post-dated passport isn’t necessarily a No–No, but you should research this thoroughly and approach with considered caution!
Many countries can be vague about whether and how they accept post dated visa applications and it may take a bit of digging to get a clear answer. This is where travel agencies come into their own – not only for advice, but if you are planning a multi-destination holiday they will help guide you through what is and isn’t possible. We spoke to travel expert, Steve Finch of Steve Finch travel who offers the following sound advice:
“Beware of transiting or layover rules that apply with regards to visas. A well-seasoned travel agent will be ofey with the nuances of each country and able to support you through all elements of your travel. Use extreme care when completing ESTA online, otherwise you might need to go to the embassy and may be refused a visa. For example, if you have a speeding ticket this is not classed as a criminal record!”
Here are some guiding principles to help you with your research:
• As a general rule, countries where you pay for a visa upon arrival shouldn’t pose a problem as your flight booking and passport names will match.
• Countries requiring a visa to be applied for in advance can represent more of a headache and in some cases may be a deal breaker. Turnaround time is key here.
• USA: The United States remains a very popular holiday multi-stop destination for newlyweds – To get in, you’ll need an ESTA which can only be applied for once you have your new passport, corresponding passport number and most crucially, your passport has become valid (IE the day of your marriage). Thankfully ESTA’s are very straightforward to obtain and can be applied for online. They take about 10 minutes to be issued so it’s doable, albeit a little close to the point of boarding for some.
• EXOTIC locations: Take a more tropical location who’s consulate relies on beaurcratic processes from the dark ages – you’ll need to be prepared for a few bumps en route….Not totally impossible, but you better have a good amount of time, strong nerves and of course a VERY trusted source of advice!
Assuming you’ve got time and location under control we recommend you use the below checklist to ensure you understand the practical implications, and what that might mean in your individual situation.
1) COST: Even if you have years left on your current passport you will still be charged for a new one: £72.50 to apply for a 10 year passport (more if you use Check and Send or Fast Track services) and up to 9 months from your existing passport can be carried over.
2) YOU CAN’T TRAVEL You’ll need to surrender your passport at the time of submitting your application - if you’re planning on nipping off for a hen-do weekend or you travel with work - you’ll need to rethink things. Your new passport, even if it arrives weeks ahead of the big day can’t actually be used until after the ceremony.
3) COLD FEET: If the marriage doesn’t go ahead for any reason you will need to return the new passport to HM Passport office and re-apply for a new passport in your original name.
4) SHOWSTOPPER 1: If you have dual citizenship and have a non-British passport, the name on your non-British passport must match the name you want on your British passport - If it doesn’t, change the details on your non-British passport before you apply for a new British passport.
5) SHOWSTOPPER 2: If you are planning on getting married abroad you will be unable to apply for a post-dated passport as you will need to begin and end your trip abroad with a passport in your maiden name.
HOW TO GUIDE:
THE BORING (but helpful) BITS
Assuming the trilogy of Time, Location and Practicality are favorably aligned, read on to understand how to get your hands on a Post Dated passport:
• To renew your passport you can either:
- Apply online at https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport
- Or apply using a standard passport application form, which you can pick from any Post Office branch
• You will need to send a ‘Post-Date Form 2’ (PD2) along with your application - The minister or registrar who will conduct the ceremony must sign this, as must you with your current name and signature.
NameSwitch is an online service, established to help newlyweds navigate their way through the name-changing maze. Available for use before (where you’ll get your PD2) or after marriage, they’ll make your name change so much easier, using smart, secure automation.