Home Secretary visits the Passport Office to see how they’re preparing for Brexit

The Home Secretary recently visited Her Majesty's Passport Office to see how they're preparing for Brexit. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, some people may need to renew their passports earlier than planned.

Here's what you need to know.

Passport rules

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, new rules will apply for British passport holders travelling to most European countries after 29 March 2019. This includes passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

If there is no deal, British passport holders will be considered third country nationals by the countries within the Schengen area after 29 March 2019. This means some people may need to renew their passport earlier than planned:

  • You should have at least six months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
  • If you renewed a 10-year adult passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date, making it valid for more than 10 years. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

Check a passport for travel to Europe

If your passport does not meet the new rules, you should apply for a new passport before travelling to the countries affected. You can use this tool to check a passport for travel to Europe.

The easiest and cheapest way to renew your passport is online at We recommend you consider renewing your passport soon to avoid any delay.

Passport design

The passport design is also changing. Passports issued from 30 March 2019 will continue to be burgundy, but they will no longer include the words ‘European Union’ on the front cover.

There will be no difference for British citizens whether they are using a passport that includes the words European Union, or a passport that does not include the words European Union. Both designs will be equally valid for travel.

UK passports issued before the UK leaves the EU will remain valid travel documents. You do not have to replace a passport that meets your travel needs.