The Passport Office has put more staff and resources in place to deal with a backlog of passport applications due to "exceptional demand" ahead of the summer getaway.
If you are worried about your passport applications not being ready ahead of your holidays, there are a few options available to you.
1. Ensure your paperwork is correct
The Passport Office say the main cause of delays in the application process is 'human error' in the paperwork. Make sure your forms are fully completed and that any photographs are correct and clearly marked.
The Post Office offers a 'Check and Send service' for £8.75 that ensures your papers are in order before you send them.
2. Allow enough time for your application
A passport application should take three weeks to process but a completely new passport can take up to six weeks. The Passport Office strongly advise all customers not to book travel until they have received their passport.
3. Speed up the process by using 'Fast Track' or 'Premium' options
Whilst this is an expensive option, it does guarantee that you will get your documents quickly.
To renew a standard 32-page adult passport under the Premium 'four hour' service costs £128.
To renew a standard 32-page adult passport under the Fast Track 'one week' service costs £103.
You cannot use these services if you are applying for your first adult passport. You are unable to get a child's first passport - or renew an existing one - under the Premium scheme.
A Fast Track application for a child costs £87.
You may also be able to upgrade your application to use the premium services if you have already applied to renew your passport by post or through the Post Office Check & Send service.
Passports can be issued quickly in an emergency - such as ill health or death - but forgetting to allow adequate time for an application to go through is not seen as an emergency by the Passport Office. The only way to speed up the process is to pay for it.
However, where a passport is delayed in a straight-forward case - through no fault of the applicant - the Passport Office will look to fast track the application for free.
For more information, contact the Passport Office Adviceline:
Telephone: 0300 222 0000
Textphone: 0300 222 0222
Text Relay: 18001 0300 222 0000
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 5:30pm