Save, make, understand money

Household Bills

Quarter of a million passports fail post-Brexit travel rules: Check now

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Holidaymakers planning a break in Europe this summer are urged to check passports now to ensure they meet post-Brexit travel rules as a quarter of a million holders risk the heartbreak of being denied boarding.

Since the UK left the EU, post-Brexit rules state that UK passports cannot be more than 10 years old when used to travel to the EU (Schengen zone).

A further separate rule is that passports must be valid for at least three months after the day you plan to depart.

Those seeking the sun and sand in EU countries will need to double check the date that a passport was issued, as well as when it expires.

While many may assume that a passport is valid for ten years, extra months might have been added to the expiry date if the previous passport was renewed before it expired.

According to Passport Office figures obtained by Co-Op Insurance, 254,316 British passport holders could have their getaway grounded for not meeting these post-Brexit EU entry rules.

Any UK traveller who tries to enter the Schengen zone will be turned away if their otherwise valid passports were issued more than ten years ago.

Check your passport now

Schools are out for summer this week, and over three-quarters of Brits are planning to jet off on a summer vacation.

Research compiled by Co-op Insurance revealed that 77% of its travel insurance policies have been bought for an EU destination. It has also seen an increase of 32% in travel policies sold, compared to last year.

As such, it is urging Brits to check passports now to avoid falling foul of the rules.

Graham Ward-Lush, head of travel at Co-op Insurance, said: “For many years, travellers renewing their passport before the previous one expired were able to carry over any remaining time left. Before September 2018, a maximum of nine months could be added to the replacement’s 10-year length – meaning passports could be valid for as long as 10 years and nine months.

“Passengers may look at their passport, see that it does not expire until well after their return, and believe all is well.

“However, we urge travellers to check the date of issue especially if it’s before 1 October 2018.

“If the passport is more than 10 years old on the day of entry, they will not be allowed in.

“There can’t be a more heart-breaking scenario than unearthing a passport the night before travel, only to realise that it is out of date.

“We want to help ensure that people all over the UK manage to have their dream holiday this summer and aren’t stranded at home due to invalid travel documentation!”

Passport renewals start from £82.50 online or £93 if you fill in a paper form via the Post office. See Passport fees hiked for more information on all the costs, including for last minute renewals.