I thought it would be a good idea to share our experience of renewing a British Passport from Portugal. This might not be the most exciting of posts but it’s good to share our experience and the process. Hubby’s passport had just expired and although we are staying put here and don’t have any immediate plans to jet off anywhere, it’s always good to have an up to date valid passport for I.D purposes as well as for emergency travel. He also needed his passport number and I.D to sign up for an upcoming bike race. It would be a devastating situation if a family member got ill or died and hubby couldn’t return because he didn’t have a current travel document.

Changes in Policy

I’m not sure if you are aware but there has been a recent change in policy which means that British passport holders will no longer be able to add up to 9 months of extra validity on to their passports renewed before their passports expire. Previously if one were to renew their passport early before it expired the extra months were added on. Under the new policy British passport holders will now lose out on the extra months if they renew earlier than the expiry date.

6 Months Validity Rule

Some countries require at least 6 months validity remaining on 10 year passports from the date of arrival. Please don’t fall prey to this and check the country you are visiting. Gov.UK is a great source for this information. Another point to consider is that if you renewed your passport before it expired, those extra months added on DO NOT count towards the 6 months validity in some countries so double check this before you travel.

Issue Date & Expiry Date

If you took advantage of the previous policy and renewed your passport early you will have a different Issue date to the Expiry date. DO NOT assume your passport will expire on the Expiry date! The 10 years actually runs from the Issue date and many travellers have been refused boarding at the airport. It’s slightly confusing as passports that look like they are still in date as the expiry date is in the future but are no longer valid for travel.

Our Experience, Cost & Timeframe

Hubby renewed his passport online at the cost of £86.00 + £19.86 International courier fee to receive the passport in the post and the return of the old passport and any supporting documents. A total of £105.86. The passport had totally expired so no extra months were lost. Hubby took his photo using his mobile phone against a white wall and didn’t require any counter signatures to verify his identity. He even brushed his hair, I’m assuming with my brush as he doesn’t actually own a brush or comb (ha ha).

28/01/22 Submitted passport application online.

31/01/22 Posted passport to U.K from Portugal. Used the regular CTT Post Office in Côja, Arganil, Central Portugal, Tracked at a cost of €3.60. It is tracked all the way to the U.K Passport Office.

02/02/22 Passport arrived in the U.K.

04/02/22 Passport arrived at Durham Passport Office.

13/02/22 Durham Passport Office acknowledged receipt of Passport by updating their system which we could see via tracking.

22/02/22 Passport Office approved, printed and posted Passport back to us.

02/03/22 Received a notification by email and text message to confirm that Passport was at the DHL Courier shop pick up point in Côja and ready for collection.

07/03/22 Received old expired Passport, delivered to our house by DHL Courier.

Total Timeframe: 4 Weeks & 5 Days


We were both really happy with the process and timeframe. I had visions of the passport getting lost especially as we decided to not post it via a Courier from Portugal to the U.K. When we first relocated here, I posted my tax return cheque back to the U.K and it went missing. I had to wait weeks for the tax office to re-issue another cheque then the original cheque arrived in the U.K and it took over 6 weeks to get there. Maybe it was delivered by pigeon carrier and not Airmail! I can laugh about it now but at the time it was very stressful and I was fuming. For the passport we just used the basic tracked CTT Post Office at a reasonable cost of €3.60 and it was successful. We encountered no issues along the way and it was an easy admin procedure which is always a bonus. Now we can rest in the knowledge that if someone close to us pops their clogs we can return for future funerals and say goodbye as I don’t fancy attending a zoom video funeral.