Subscribe RSS
Another reason to renew Jul 25

Getting a new passport is a stressful business. You have to get an application form, read through all the documents (some of which you won’t need), and obtain passport photographs which, by law, make you look ten years older, several stone heavier and ravaged by an obscure tropical disease. Then you send everything off in the post and cross your fingers that Royal Mail won’t lose your documents on the way or your shiny new passport on its way back, and pray that it will arrive before you need it. Oh, and you fork out a load of money for the privilege of being able to leave the country.

When I last renewed my passport, I paid £42. Last year, that went up to £51. In October, it will rise to £66. That a 57% increase over just two years. Supposedly this is to pay for biometrics nonsense which we don’t need – I’d be in trouble if we did need it, as my new passport isn’t due for renewal until 2015. Why can’t we opt out and have a cheaper, biometric free version? Because it’s all about ID cards, of course. There is the implied link between the biometrics in passports and the biometrics in the national identity database, and this rise will also go towards the creation of ID processing centres for us to be herded through like cattle when the time comes.

More importantly, these steady rises provide political cover for the introduction of ID cards. Instead of the Government having to announce a price rise from £42 to £93 (assuming that the price really will be £93), they can say “Oh, it’s only a bit more than £66”, or whatever figure they’ve hiked the passport cost to just before ID cards come in.

So don’t just renew for freedom – renew before October to save yourself fifteen quid.

4 Responses

  1. 1

    Count yourself lucky if yours comes by Royal Mail rather than you having to take a day off work for a courier who will deliver sometime between 9am and 5pm, and insists on you being there to identify yourself…

  2. 2

    The RFID and digitised photo stuff is so you can go to the US on the VISA waiver…
    They require it of newly issued passports as of October I believe.

    Personally I doubt it has many benefits…

    The rest is all gearing up for ID Cards though…

  3. 3

    >Because it’s all about ID cards, of course.

    actually the biometrics are added to comply with US Immigration’s entry requirements

  4. 4

    I’m not convinced that the rise is the minimum it could be to cover that cost, and the Government has been eager to comply.

    And if I’m not going to the US, so why should I have to pay for it?