Letting your British passport expire can be costly

With British Consulates in Portugal issuing 493 emergency passports in 2012/13, the British Embassy is urging British nationals to take care of their passports and renew them in good time.

In May 2013, 50 emergency passports were issued to British nationals in Portugal. This included 24 as a result of theft, principally bag theft, car break-ins, burglary and pick-pocketing. Of the 26 emergency passports issued for other reasons, 15% were because the passport had expired.

People living in Portugal should check when their passports are due to expire and make a diary note to renew them up to nine months before they expire, says British Vice Consul in Lisbon, Gillian Herculano.

“Living overseas, it can be easy to forget to renew your passport. But if you need to travel in an emergency, getting an emergency passport is both costly – currently €116 – and time-consuming, which can further add to what may already be a stressful situation. In addition you will still need to renew your full passport when you get back.”

Many people think that by renewing a passport before it expires they will “lose out” on validity they have paid for. But in fact any remaining validity on your existing passport (up to a total of nine months) will be added to your new one.