Help - Does anyone work at the Passport Office at Durham

(897 Posts)
janeb204 Mon 23-Jul-12 22:30:40

Im at my wits end...I need to speak to Durham Passport office, I am going on holiday Saturday and my daughters passport renewal is stuck in a backlog at Durham. I will pay for accelerated service but can't get through to ask for it. The general phone number takes hours to be answered, the call back service doesn't work, the 48hr email reply service doesn't reply. Can I drive to Durham and sit and wait. I'm frantic to resolve this...but what can I do? Has anyone got any suggestions of what I can do....apart from cry? Does anyone work there and can tell me something I can DO

Bumping for you.

I apologise as I don't have any advice at all but hope you get it sorted out.

Babylon1 Mon 23-Jul-12 22:36:47

Can you make an appt at Peterborough passport office and go there on the one day service? Costs more and will be a whole new application but maybe worth it?

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 05:33:10

I'm in exactly the same position- we have had to bring travel plans forward a month and our passport renewals are stuck in Durham can anyone help? I have been ringing non stop since Thursday but still not managed to speak to anyone. Desperate to find a solution but it looking unlikely I've not slept for days.

Please me know how you get on today.

OhNoMyFanjo Tue 24-Jul-12 05:46:19


janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 06:42:50

Thanks for bumping!
They tell me I cannot do the one day service as I'm not allowed to have 2 applications at the same time, I have to cancel the first one only cancellation takes a week, in writing...and there are no one day appointments anywhere in the country for 3 weeks. So sorry to hear you're in the same mess, KazyLou. Its sooo frustrating being totally unable to get anyone to even answer the phone. After 80 calls yesterday I got through to the central helpline only twice and they are "allowed" to try Durham phone number just one but it is always engaged. They cant take your money to upgrade to the fast service which would get it to me in time only Durham can but they are uncontactable.
If it gets to Thursday I shall drive to Durham and sit on their floor and cry all day which would feel better than sitting at home and crying all day which is what I will end up doing if the whole family holiday is ruined all because noone would speak to me. I don't suppose it would change anything being in durham but not a lot else I can actually DO

matthewsmummy19 Tue 24-Jul-12 08:09:36

hi janeb. Iam in exactly the same position we fly on sunday and have not received my sons 1st passport im at my wits end. Iam going to go to passport office in Durham today as fortunatly we only live around 20 miles away. i could burst into tears every time i dial that number to IPS. I have left my number numerous times but had no one call be back. Absolute disgrace they have had my sons passort over 6 weeks x

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 08:11:46

Someone did call me back from the Newport office she told me Durham std working on forms from the 28th June mine was on their system on 12 th July so really not looking good . There has to he a better system than us generating all these calls!

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 08:12:45

Sorry to hear that. Let us all know how you get on!

Peasbody Tue 24-Jul-12 10:56:38

I am in exactly the same position! Durham are holding my sons details at ransom so I cannot choose the fast track option! I sent the form at the end of May and now we are in peak time for applications I cannot get through. No one is calling back or replying to emails. It is absolutely disgraceful the service we are all receiving. Still on the messages when you call it says please leave a maximum of 6 weeks. We are now past the 6 week mark and no passport. We are due to leave in 2 weeks. If you have any luck visiting the Durham office please let us know as I may decide to take the long drive there just to get this sorted! I am joining you all in sitting on the floor and crying. Good luck everyone xxxxxx

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 16:55:56

Ive sent you a pm peasbody x

MainlyMaynie Tue 24-Jul-12 17:54:19

Have you thought about contacting the press with these stories? Might be the only way to do it.

I've been to the passport office there and you will get in and get to speak to a person, as they give out 'appointment' times which are actually just the start of the am or pm session and everyone has to go and get a number to queue. I'd guess they won't have the authority to do anything though.

jasper28 Tue 24-Jul-12 20:44:20

Hi janeb204 did you have any look going down to the passport office. I'm in the same situation both mine and my daughters passport stuck at Durham. We go away on Saturday don't know what to do! X

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 21:55:02

I havent gone...yet. Today I got through to a lady from IPS in Durham...after about 250 phone calls in 4 days...and she was really helpful, told me my daughters passport was virtually ready to go and not to have it pulled ut for the special upgrade as its likely to get to me on time. She gave me the couriers phone no to track it to me. Im hopeful but still holding my breath until I have it in my hand. Keep trying to speak to Durham, seems from mine and others experiences you get some action once you get to them.
if no passport in couriers hands by Thursday I will go to Durham Friday

OlymPicture Tue 24-Jul-12 23:28:04

Glad to hear you have had some positive news OP.

Babylon1 Wed 25-Jul-12 05:08:49

Can I just add in here, the extra few quid for the check and send service from post office is invaluable.

I did DDs first passports and my renewal last year. They were sent at the beginning of July and were back inside of 10 days. Post office guarantee them back in 14 days.

I realise this doesn't help anyone whose passport is stuck in Durham but for future reference, well worth the extra few quid IMO smile

janeb204 Wed 25-Jul-12 06:46:33

I rang the recorded message line and it said renewals would take 3 weeks. I sent my daughters off with 7 weeks to go and didn't even consider any of the faster options as it was clear from IPS own message that I had plenty of time. What they dont tell you is that the 3 weeks only starts from the day they begin processing your application which in my case took 4 weeks. A harsh lesson learned to do it in plenty of time, Im hoping this distress is the only harsh lesson and the passport arrives or the worse lesson - that of taking a large family group away without one of the children - which is unimaginable ( its that or ruining everyone's holiday)

OlymPicture Wed 25-Jul-12 14:07:58

jane that is terrible that it has taken them so long. Can you keep badgering them? Ask your MP for some intervention?

7 weeks is ridiculous

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 06:54:10

I've badgered as much as I can but the system stinks. I rang over 250 times, only to get through a couple of times and managed to get one of their call backs within 48 hours booked. Its a very long time when you're desperate. The called back and i gave my name and postcode and passport application number and the call was mysteriously "lost" I rang back over 80 times to tell them i had lost my call and they told me...sorry but you DID have a callback ...even though I didn't even get to talk! When you are on hold to their phone line, after 5 minutes it sends you to their automated call back service and doesn't let you hold on, and when you get to that bit of the phone call it say " We are sorry but this service is not available" so back you go to phoning. Even when you do speak to them they are helpless and can't do anything - one or two are sort of sorry for you helpless but unfortunately most seem cold and robotic about it.
Refreshingly..this is just the awful helpline but once you get to a passport office, in my case Durham the whole ethos of wanting to help changes and I've every respect for the staff there who clearly want to help. IPS need to review their telephone service and replace with something that functions

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 07:34:00

Janeb204 I totally agree with every aspect of your post. I too have made between 100 - 200 calls! Couldn't get much from Sx last night 4 calls to get through then no joy as my parcels were not on their system (yet?).

Have you got your daughter's pp back yet?

Least of my worries but i'm dreading the phone bill! X

Anyone else hit theirs back yet?

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 07:34:53

Sorry meant DX the courier!

OlymPicture Thu 26-Jul-12 09:32:36

Have you got access to a fax? I found this number for them - 01913707140

I wonder if you could have a play around with the numbers to see if you can get hold of someone?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 26-Jul-12 12:36:42

Babylon1 that was last year though.

I used the same service and got a passport back with a week.

I imagine that like much of the civil service, the passport office are stretched to the very limit; the cuts have been harsh.

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 13:50:16

it has just arrived. I hope so much you get yours too. i have nothing but praise for the staff at Durham

OlymPicture Thu 26-Jul-12 14:45:24

jane grin grin grin so relieved for you

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 17:33:49

Thanks so much...i'm hoping for good news for you all too

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 20:30:05

We got ours back today too we love you Durham we do. smilesmilesmilesmile

Hope everyone else gets sorted!

tundiehegg Fri 27-Jul-12 10:47:45

Like you all - feeling ill and shaky at the moment but have gone past the "rage" stage - have very similar story, my sons passport is only a renewal, as advised by the passport office I sent it through the PO check and send. It is waiting to be printed. I have been given a Durham fast track number by a family who used it sort their daughters passport last week - but it doesn't work! This family also praised the Durham staff - once you get through to them! I think the media needs to pick up on this - especially given the boasting of "cuts" and "savings made". If I get a number that works I will post it.

tundiehegg Fri 27-Jul-12 10:54:24 a query where are you all from - is this a regional problem? my local office would be Newport Wales - but my passport went to Durham? as is the family I am in touch with who had problems last week (from Bristol)....too frustrating for words!!

ruthie79 Fri 27-Jul-12 11:43:43

My passport also went to Durham. I live on the South Coast so my local office is London. I used the check and send service at the post office on the 5th July, It arrived with them on the 9th, was sent to Durham on the 12th and still hasnt been checked! Once it's printed it will STILL take 5 working days to get to me.

I travel on Thursday... Therefore trying to get through to upgrade the service but as yet no luck.

The operator in the central office advised me to try to call between 2 and 3 as it's quieter then - I'll keep you posted as to whether I get through.

OlymPicture Fri 27-Jul-12 11:54:53

Mine went to Liverpool whereas I would have expected it to go to our local one at Peterborough

3duracellbunnies Fri 27-Jul-12 12:08:38

Not much help to you guys now, but you can renew up to 9 months before and still preserve the renewal date, so for child's passport will be valid for 5yrs 9months, at least it was fine when I did dd2's in Feb. Really hope all your passports come soon.

Beckamaw Sat 28-Jul-12 11:29:47

I am in the same boat. sad
We used check and send. The bloody post office told me the passport would be back by 26th latest. Where is it then? angry

We fly on 5th August. Our situation is complicated as we are taking all 5 of our kids ( his 2, my 2, our 1) on a Uk break Monday to Friday. We then fly out with just our 1 on Sunday. We will only know if we have the passport on Friday evening. sad
This is our first holiday abroad and after a very stressful time we really need it!!

I don't understand the following:
Why, when you call the passport line, do you always get through immediately? They must have hundreds of people employed to fob us off!! They are clearly very few who actually process the passports!
They will only try once to transfer you to the office. This means you are constantly calling. Each call takes forever as you have to give full details each time.
DP eventually sweet talked a female operator who tried multiple times and got him through. However, Peterborough were useless. Can't upgrade a child application. Checks not yet done. Can't advise etc. sad

Why is the Post Office allowed to tell us that there is a guaranteed 2 week turnaround for check and send? There isn't! I was told by the helpline that you have to allow 6 weeks for a first passport, regardless of using check and send.
Had we known that, we would have applied ages ago!

We are both so upset about this. I just don't know what we can do.

Beckamaw Sat 28-Jul-12 12:31:43

I have just emailed my MP. Will let you know how I get on with that!

OlymPicture Sat 28-Jul-12 12:56:47

Oh no Becka. Very stressful for you.

The Post Office are still telling people that Check and Send is 2 weeks, I complained to them but they just fobbed me off.

Beckamaw Sat 28-Jul-12 13:19:26

They just don't seem to care. This holiday cost a lot of hard earned money but after a stressful birth with a lot of illness afterwards, we felt we deserved it. angry

Mummiemandy2012 Sat 28-Jul-12 13:25:03

Has anyone got through to Durham yet ?? Been on the phone since Thursday .

Beckamaw Sat 28-Jul-12 14:34:09

A tip? Cry, or sweet talk them.
We found someone who would keep trying for us yesterday. DP was very calm and explained our panic. She tried until she got through.
Not that it bloody helped though! sad

ruthie79 Sat 28-Jul-12 15:24:34

Finally spoke to Durham after 2 days of calling just to be told that I cant upgrade until my identity checks are complete. I was told last night that Durham hadn't answered their phones all day (25th time of calling)! Try option 4 in the multiple choice, they can call 3 times not just once.

Durham currently have a 3 week wait from receiving an application to checking identity so the earliest mine will be done is Monday. I've left my number for them to call me once they've checked identity so I can upgrade to next day delivery (I have left my number countless times so not holding my breath that I will get the call).

Fingers crossed I get the passport in time for Thursday, been told it's not a completely lost cause... yet...

OlymPicture Sun 29-Jul-12 10:21:16

I feel sick for you, its horrible to think that your family holiday hangs in the balance and you have no way of knowing for sure when you will get it back

Ray75 Sun 29-Jul-12 13:09:06

I'm in the same position, my DS renewal is at Durham, we travel on the 5th August. Am worried sick, have done as all of you and spoke several times to IPS but they won't try and put me through to Durham till tomorrow, even if I get through they said they will assess if I can pay for the express service, it's not a given. Does anyone know if that's right for those who got through to Durham, it seems most are saying they are more helpful once you get through? IPS will only say its on for processing....what does that mean in terms of when it will be back, if I could at least know that I could look into a plan B to travel out later and join the rest of my family!
My friend applied for her DS renewal exactly a week before me and it was back last Thursday so 1day short of 3weeks from when sent check and send via post office.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all of us, soo frustrating when you can travel through other European borders freely, it's not my destination who wants to see passport but the UK....xx

OlymPicture Sun 29-Jul-12 14:00:27

Ray75 I think the thing about assessing if you can pay for fast track is because you can't have two applications at the same time.

So in order to fast track it, they have to first find it and pull it out of the system, before they can process it, print it and then courier it out.

So if it is already awaiting printing for eg then it is quicker to just let it go through the process.

Ray75 Sun 29-Jul-12 14:13:46

Your right olympicture, problem is I think you can only get a more accurate answer at what stage it's at from the PO itself, IPS just tell me it's 'bing processed' so know idea if it's been checked or in the que for printing. Am praying I can get a more detailed update tomorrow if I can get put through to Durham.....wish their on line tracking system was actually that, like DHL where you put our reference in and it shows you it's current status. In fact to me what they call an on line tracking service is actually just an on line form submission that rely's on a human just feel soo helpless

tundiehegg Sun 29-Jul-12 18:38:39

If there are this many of us here, there must be others...and there must be a reason? how awful is this...we have given up on going away. No joy yet - have not been phoned back within 48 hrs by Durham following email enquiry (as promised). On saturday - have tried being very nice, very patient, very horrible and making a complaint - nothing has worked yet! Somebody noted earlier that there are no fast track appointments in the country for 3 weeks - think this must be right as our local post office said a gentleman had to go to Glasgow (from Somerset) !! So not feeling that I should have done that! Have noted what the gentleman said about you may as well let it go through the system as it takes time to take it out and then upgrade it.

KazyLou Sun 29-Jul-12 23:26:54

Keep positive folks the Durham office will call you back and do all they can to help once they do. I was at my wits end this time last week and almost cancelled our flights. By Thursday it was all sorted out. Also don't be confused by the mixed messages from helpline staff. They don't seem to have the correct info re upgrades.

Mummiemandy2012 Mon 30-Jul-12 09:56:37

Has anyone got through to Durham yet
Feeling very desperate

tundiehegg Mon 30-Jul-12 11:16:38

Keep calm and carry on ladies (and dads)...Its Monday and a new week. I am hoping KazyLou is right. Phoned again this morning at 8.00am ... asked that yet another email be sent to Durham as call had not been returned ... then, was called by Durham!!!! then fast track man called from Durham.... mine is a straightforward renewal so he said don't bother to upgrade/fast track it ... it should be here by the end of the week!!! So will see. Keep phoning Mummiemandy.

AtaleOfTwoCities Mon 30-Jul-12 11:43:48

Quick question here about fast track, well actually premium one day service? I just started another thread on this I already missed our flights, as DDs passport expires in under 6months. Those of you trying to upgrade how did you do It. I can't get a one day appointment at all to renew her passport anywhere in the country has anyone had any luck and how?
Good luck with those waiting for passports it's just sooo busy at the moment I did mine a few weeks back in person the office was heaving!

mummyhazael Mon 30-Jul-12 12:52:47

I've decided to drive the five hours to durham tonight and stay in a b&b to try and get our daughter's first passport which has been in the system for three weeks. Had all the same problems as everyone else and we're travelling on Friday. So am thinking this is our only hope. What a NIGHTMARE (ps I sent an email to watchdog. I suggest more people do the same - get this situation in the press)
pps post office told me three weeks. LIES!!!

Dancer1971 Mon 30-Jul-12 12:55:50

Hi. I've been in the same position, needing my daughters passport back from Durham. After no joy all day Friday ringing the IPS, I sent a message to Durham on Saturday morning. Today, ( Monday ) they've rang me back and told me my passports been processed today and will be with me by the end of the week. Obviously I wont believe it till its in my hand but thought I'd pass on the web page I used.
Good luck!!!!

Dancer1971 Mon 30-Jul-12 13:01:23

Oh and forgot to add. This was a childs renewal and I sent it registered post on the 10th July

janeb204 Mon 30-Jul-12 14:40:35

Keep trying, mine arrived when i rang every hour, sent forms via the direct gov site and pester, pester pestered, I got my daughters passport thursday, we flew out here Early saturday morning and this morning i got an email from IPS saying they were really very sorry but passport wouldnt be printed until tuesday next week and I must allow 4-5 working days to have it delivered and there was nothing they could do.
i couldnt beleive it!!!

Mrsklg Mon 30-Jul-12 15:06:00

I too am at my wits end with two passports stuck in Durham. They were sent through check and send on the 4th July and we are supposed to be travelling on the 3rd August ( this Friday). It's not looking very hopeful for us, I have sat on the phone since 8 this morning, just hitting redial.
How can I take two of my children and leave two behind? It's just not an option!

Ray75 Mon 30-Jul-12 16:13:36

Still not got through to Durham either, the only thing i will say is that not only states on their website but i have experienced today when calling is that they are having system problems, somethimes when i call they cannot find my application at all other times they have, based on what Janeb204 has just said it seems to me the status of applications available to the IPS is not a true reflection of where it really is in the process, whether you look at that as a good thing or not I dont know...xx

Ray75 Mon 30-Jul-12 17:32:43

well i have done as much as i can today and feel totally drained. I got through to Durham finally, the lady was as all have said very helpful, my sons passport renewal hasnt been checked yet, she has pulled it out and sent it through for checking but i cant pay for the upgrade until the checks are done. She said hopefully that will happen tomorrow or wednesday and i will get a call back when done so i can then pay for the upgrade service, we are meant to be travelling Sunday, all I can do now is keep everything crossed.
Ruthie - did you get your call back following checks?

KazyLou Mon 30-Jul-12 21:07:57

Glad to hear people are getting call backs. In my case Tundiehegg they were true to their word. I was advised no need to upgrade and passport arrived two days later. Keep positive I'm rooting for you all.

OlymPicture Mon 30-Jul-12 23:19:17

Anyonne who hasn't sent theirs off yet may want to look at this thread

mummyhazael Tue 31-Jul-12 09:45:27

I didn't go to Durham! They rang a few hours later and told me it had been printed. Phoned the courier this morning and it'll be delivered tomorrow. phew!!!! Perhaps things are sorting themselves out.

Gunnersden Tue 31-Jul-12 11:56:05

I had a call back from Durham today, they advised that they are currently working on passport applications received on 13th July that are in the waiting to be examined queue(so that should include mine as mine was received on 13th July). I wanted to upgrade but apparently they cannot do that until the application has been examined. Mine is a renewal by the way so if they are true to their word it should be examined today but not convinced!!!

Ray75 Tue 31-Jul-12 13:10:51

To give you hope, after I spoke to Durham yesterday she pulled my application out for approval but said I might not hear back till wednesday, they call me this mornign to say the check had been done and for a fee of £66 they have gaurenteed with royal mail service that it will be with me before 1pm Thursday.
As previously said the people at Durahm are fab once you can get through to them and pester pester is definately the way to go, have my fingers corssed for the rest of you. xxx

Gunnersden Tue 31-Jul-12 14:40:12

To give you more hope, just had confirmation that application has now been examined and is being passed for printing phew!!! Don't give up people with perseverance Durham will call you back albeit not within the 48 hour window and are very helpfull when they do if you explain situation. These poor guys are under immence pressure due to the cuts this government have made i.e. too many applications and not enough people!!!

Beckamaw Tue 31-Jul-12 17:42:37

Email your local MP! Somehow mine is now miraculously sorted!! grin

Giggsygail Thu 02-Aug-12 14:54:02

PLEAS PLEASE PLEASE does anyone out there have the tele number for Durham office, I know this may be a silly question but Im at my wits end !!! We travel next week and my daughters passport, that has been there since 04.07 is STILL not here. I have rang and rang and rang. My daughter is Autistic and really doesn't know whats going on and distraught. My husband has just gone to see the local MP now as I type !! after a phone call and them offering to help. I really am in a state of panic.

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 18:27:37

There is one mentioned in a blog, linked to the other passport thread. I don't think it would make sense - we'd get the thread pulled. sad
Let me have a look.....

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 18:28:56

I meant, wouldn't make sense to post it here. Sorry.

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 18:36:38

PM sent!grin

tundiehegg Thu 02-Aug-12 20:56:49

Thursday evening - like KazyLou mine turned up later this afternoon as promised. Took 3 weeks and 1 day (somebody else mentioned that stime scale) - so see a couple of others have come through as promised , to all of you who are distraught just keep trying until you do get a call back - get them to send yet another email request to Durham Passport Office for an "upgrade".

Poor them and poor us,

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 22:10:38

I can't make any sense of their ridiculous call centre. Staffed by idiots (either that, or totally untrained staff)- different message every time. You have to call back repeatedly.
We were convinced we would lose our holiday!
Willing to help anyone in the position we were in.

Giggsygail Fri 03-Aug-12 06:24:00

Thank you Bexkamaw for your help so far.. Its 48 hours this morning since we sent the first call back request.. and another sleepless night..hence my early message. We are also convinced we are going to lose our holiday! We all feel sick to the stomach, and it doesn't help that its friday and the weekend is ahead... praying we get a call this morning.

Giggsygail Fri 03-Aug-12 09:23:15

Rang Durham 9am sharp. Spoke to a wonderful woman who has agreed to pull the application at a fee. She did say that someone will ring me on monday or tusday (praying that happens) a shakey weekend of worry ahead !!. fingers crossed. Its thanks to great advise on here that Ive got this far!!

Beckamaw Fri 03-Aug-12 11:22:14

Giggsygail - if it reassures you, we had our callback within 24 hours and passport was sent same day - arriving less than 24 hrs later.
We are on holiday in UK at the moment with 5 kids (my 2, DH 2 and our 1) and MIL popped round to check it arrived. So relieved!!

Giggsygail Fri 03-Aug-12 12:36:55

Thats fantastic Beckamaw.. so glad you have yours, have a fantastic holiday and thanks for your help !

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sat 04-Aug-12 15:02:50

Passport hell! Discovered I had lost (goodness knows where but somewhere in house and have turned place upside down looking) passport and applied by check and send. Have rung main enquiry line numerous times but they won't do anything until day 10 which is Monday. I was suppossed to fly Monday sad anyway I can get another flight next Monday if I can get it back for then. I need to get through to the Liverpool office. Does anyone have a direct number for it? If I can get through to them I may have a chance (slim chance as its for a lost replacement) of getting it back in time. Anyone know the Liverpool office number?

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sat 04-Aug-12 15:27:59


Beckamaw Sat 04-Aug-12 17:40:33

I have googled furiously and found 0151 471 6387.
I tried calling so I know it is an active phone number. Worth a shot?

Beckamaw Sat 04-Aug-12 17:44:24

Just found this Polish(?) website. Lists direct phone numbers for all passport offices - I kid you not!!

Maybe this helps everyone without us getting in trouble! grin

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 18:54:51

All these useful hints of how to get a passport quicker are amazing, thanks.
I've got a holiday booked Thurs 9th Aug and Durham told me today they would "pull my passport today" and i can expect a callback either next Tues or Weds to organise a courier service. Can anyone tell me what I can do to improve my chances of getting my passport before next Thursday and/or what does "pull my passport" mean. I asked Durham this but lady said she'll do her passport means no holiday. Mega stressed, can anyone suggest anything as I'm close to tears???

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sat 04-Aug-12 20:46:29

Thanks beck. I'll try it first thing Monday. This is a total nightmare. So upset. My luck is so bad at the moment; passport drama and cat of 16 yrs run over today. I've cried bucketssad

Shona831 Sun 05-Aug-12 12:10:18

I am at my wits end too waiting for daughters renewel. Spoke to passport office several times, just the general one and on Thursday was informed it has been approved after 3 weeks with the post offie check and send but still needs to be processed....!

Also emailed general office and from there know it is in Durham....! Reading all your comments am still panicking....! as travelling on the 9 August. Does anyone have the direct number to call Durham and is there any way i could drive the long journey up there and collect or pay extra for faster courier service?

oldwomanwholivedinashoe Sun 05-Aug-12 15:14:46

Just got a call back from Liverpool. I can get upgrade and it should be in my hands by Saturday at latest. I will be able to fly Monday 13th. Will miss a week of holiday but so glad I'll get there eventually.

needu Sun 05-Aug-12 15:41:33

I've been following this thread a few days and found this number for Durham here 0845 129 0044. I fly for first holiday in years on Thursday 9th eek and it'll break my heart to let my daughter down, not to mention the total waste of money. I believe you can pay approx £65 for fast courier service or collect passport from Durham. I'll be phoning Durham on Monday to try to do that aswell. Good luck all !!! This thread is a huge help, thanks everyone.

Shona831 Sun 05-Aug-12 20:23:48

Thanks Needu for advice and number, fly Thursday too. Will be phoning Monday morning. Please let me know how you get on and vice versa. This thread has been such a help. Thanks all

Shona831 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:09:38

Passport has now arrived Needu. Many thanks for the Durham number, got a fantastic guy called steve who said it went to the courier on Friday and phoned me back with the tracking number 10 mins later and even phoned back to see if i had managed to contact them. So Friday sent for printing and passport in my hand on Monday.

Shona831 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:10:48

Hadn't finished and posted...! Turnaround once printed seems to be very quick. Hope you get your passport today and fly Thursday too.

needu Mon 06-Aug-12 18:20:52

hi Shona831
So pleased you got your passport smile
Mine was printed yesterday but is not with the courier yet......fingers crossed it arrives in time for hoiday on Thursday 9th.
Enjoy your holiday.
Good Luck to everyone who is ..........still.........waiting for passports !!!

Shona831 Mon 06-Aug-12 18:43:23

Needu, I do honestly think you will get your passport. The turn around after printing is quick. Think it will be with you tomorrow but you can get tracking number from Durham. The phone number of the courier if you don't havi it is 0844 277 3333.

LYSAIDANI Mon 06-Aug-12 20:03:48

Hi does anyone have the number for the DURHAM office? i am desperate i fly a week on sunday and still dont have my passport!! i need to apply for a waiver 72 hours before i fly!!

please please please help!! i am so stressed about it


needu Mon 06-Aug-12 20:08:01

Shona831 Thanks i hope your right.
Durham and DX Courier service do not have tracking number yet...., as passport has not been "scanned" but passport has definately left Durham....they both say its in "limbo till DX scan it in". Did you pay for a quicker delivery Shona831 ???
Does anyone know the quickest way to get your passport once you do have a tracking number.....please ???

Shona831 Mon 06-Aug-12 20:59:23

Needu, after phoning Durham and getting tracking number was going to phone and pay for next day delivery which you can do but when I put the number in DX on line it said delivery today. Once you have the number it is very quick. Eveything crossed for you.

needu Mon 06-Aug-12 22:13:39

ok thanks Shona831.

emz22 Tue 07-Aug-12 11:41:11








Schenker Thu 09-Aug-12 08:56:49

Hi Everyone

I discovered this board yesterday and have been reading all the posts into the early hours! So stressed, can't sleep, non stop crying, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

I sent my passport via check and send on 13th July, the IPS advice line advised it was received on 17th July (already 4 days later). We fly during the early hours of Wednesday morning. I was advised returns at 3 - 4 weeks and I should get it back by 14th August. I didn't want to chance it that long so called back yesterday, and was told my passport hadn't even gone to print which takes 5 - 7 days, I told him this was too long and was there anything I could do, He tried to put me through to the progress team, told me they were busy and would callback in 48 hours! I asked if there was anything I could do, and he advised an upgrade which I didn't know was possible!

I was advised that they would try and upgrade but it would be at the examiners discretion because my application wasn't a renewal, it was lost! Still crying!

I called Durham direct this morning to be told I had to leave it 2 - 3 days before they called me back, and couldn't guarantee that the passport would arrive in time.

Is there anything else I could possibly do? we have been saving up for our holiday for 2 years, my daughter is in tears, I'm in tears my husband is so annoyed! I cannot even get a refund as you have to cancel 11 days before flying.

Sorry for the long post. Can anyone offer any advice on anything else I could do?

Many thanks

Schenker Thu 09-Aug-12 09:10:11

Hi EM22, I have been told that I cannot go to the office, as I need an appointment!

OMG! I just had a call from them whilst writing! To let you all know, my first call to Durham this morning resulted in them telling me they would call me back in 2 - 3 days! However last night I was up till all hours, I emailed my local MP and emailed the Home Office, now I don't know if that had any sway, but within 10 mins of my initial call this morning, Emma from the passport office called to advise that my upgrade had been approved and my passport would be here on Monday at the latest! Relief!

I am still shaking! Email or call your MP

kirstyboo Fri 10-Aug-12 21:55:10

hi i sent my passport off for renewal on 18th july? for name change! sent my hubbys off too cos his ad gone in the washer! rang the IPS number bout 8 times and everyone tells you different, is there another number i can call to help me???

kirstyboo Fri 10-Aug-12 21:56:05

oh forgot to mention it went to durham office, i live 3 miles away from there

gemmay1 Tue 21-Aug-12 05:41:10

OMG i am sooo stressed
I sent my daughters passport away via check and send on the 27th july as id been poorly and in hospital so unable to sort it before hand!
I kept ringing as i had not heard anything!
Told to ring today 20th as thats when they can put me through to processing to see whats happening.They have told me that a letter had been sent to the person who has signed the passport on the 15th (to weeks from the date they got it) and id explained that the person wen on holiday on the 17th so told me to get a new form filled in with a cover letter explaining what has happend.Went to hand it in at the durham office where the guy on the front desk found who was dealing with my original form and advised me to go to the phone's in the office and contact him- He refused to talk to me and via a very rude lady told me to put the form in and would not give me an idea how long it will take.
We fly out on our family holiday 31st aug and have had to sit down with my 6yr old and tell her that me and her might not be going on holiday it broke my heart and hubbys seeing her break her heart as she had been counting down the days!! i ve contacted my MP tonight and had an email back to say they will get onto it in the morning but im not holding my breath.
It annoys me as i work in the airport and see how many people get passports at the drop of a hat yet a child born in the uk who has already had a passport has to go through strict checks!!!
(sorry rant over)

Joanne03 Mon 26-Aug-13 21:04:18

Hi I'm having same problem as some people on here put my 3 children's 1st passportapplications in on the 13th August was told i wouldnt have to use the fast track service as they would arrive on time we travel 3rd of September and I still don't have passports now they are querying wether or not I am a British citizen even though i put my passport number on the applications they want my birth certificate!! Thinking I should just drive to Durham from glasgow tomorrow and hand all the information in to them & it may hurry the passports up does anyone think that is my best bet? It's my kids 1st time abroad & they are so excited and the holiday wasn't cheap iv saved all year for it and would be so upset to lose all that money 😢 also to take away something my kids have been so excited about! Any ideas would be helpful thank you

Stirling1977 Wed 26-Feb-14 01:05:21

Can someone please send me Durham passport office direct number I'm at my wits end and should be travelling next Tuesday, thanks in advance

atlantic04 Tue 22-Apr-14 03:26:39

have anyone got the Liverpool passport office direct number

a previous thread gives this:

Home Office Identity & Passport Service0870 521 04100151 471 6387Liverpool Office; AdviceLine

Home Office Identity & Passport Service0845 128 99880151 471 6176Liverpool Passport Office

Home Office Identity & Passport Service 0870 521 0410 or 0151 471 6387 Liverpool Office; AdviceLine

Home Office Identity & Passport Service 0845 128 9988 or 0151 471 6176 Liverpool Passport Office

frustratedmum123 Sun 04-May-14 16:54:18

hi, can anyone tell me if they've recently sent off for a passport and recieved it yet? i sent my just after the easter break, and was told i wouldnt get it back anytime before june!

VerucaInTheNutRoom Sun 04-May-14 17:03:03

Hi, I got first passports for the kids (3 and 5) before just before Easter. I sent them through check and send and got them back just over two weeks later.

PaulaL123 Wed 07-May-14 15:04:52

Hi, I sent my sons 1st passport off on the 14th April. I was told it originally went to Liverpool but they were busy so it was transferred to Peterborough.
I rang the helpline on the 29th asking for an update and I was told that it was ready to print and should be with me shortly. I then booked a last minute holiday on the 30th for the 10th May thinking I would receive it well in advance.
How wrong was I!!!!

I rang the helpline on the 2nd May and was told that my sons passport hadn't even been looked at!! I was fuming!!!

I have rang every day since and have had no joy what so ever, I feel like crying!!

I have contacted my local MP who has been brilliant smile and is helping me get more info.

I received a call today from Hashgera who stated that my sons passport was ready to be printed and should arrive on time. However with me being a tad apprenhensive I contacted the MP and asked if she could check.

The MP emailed back saying that the passport office had made a mistake and someone with the exact same name had been processed and not my son.

I contacted the helpline again and as usual I was told that I had to wait 48hours for a call back, I explained that they have been making numerous mistakes and it is going to be me who will end up paying and not go on holiday with my kids. I even said I would pay extra but nope, I have to wait.

I hope that will all the mess ups they have done that they are able to fast trak it and I can collect it on Friday!!! Fingers crossed.

I don't understand why so many mistakes are being made..

Rant over haha, I will keep you posted.

Looloo44 Thu 08-May-14 15:41:26

Hi just wondering if you got ur passport sorted as I'm in exactly the same boat. No passports, sent 14/4 didn't get logged till 17/4 and still not processed. Holiday due 10/5!!! Is it worth driving to Durham???!

jasperoo Sun 11-May-14 21:14:19

Hello Mums,

I am in the same boat as so many of you. Needless to say the (un)help(ful) line have been thoroughly frustrating. I called on Friday to find out what stage our passport applications were at. I was told that the applications were received on the 16th of April and checked on he 25th of April but they were unable to tell me when they would be printed, stating that there was no information regarding this on the system. I then asked if I could be upgraded for the 7 day services as we are supposed to fly on Friday (16th ), which would have been cutting it fine. I was told that she would email Liverpool and request they contact me so that I could pay for the upgrade and get the ball rolling. At no point was I told that I would have to wait 48 hours. So in the middle of the afternoon I called back and was told that the initial email had never been sent but the very helpful girl read the email she was sending explaining that we would be flying in 7 days. I was then told I would be contacted in 24 hours but at the absolute latest 48, which would have been today.

Anyway no call comes and so I contact the (un)help(ful) line again to be told that even though there probably are people doing overtime at the Liverpool office today I could not expect my call back until Tuesday !!! now Friday to Tuesday !! I explained that all I wanted to know is if my passport is likely to be printed this week, obviously if I get a call back on Tuesday I will not have time for a 7 day turn around! I am willing to drive to Liverpool I just want to know where we stand.

Does anyone have the direct line for the Liverpool office? I am at my wits end.

Frustration does not even come close! Even though I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we will not be going to Italy on Friday I couldn't help but cry when I got off the phone today.

I really feel like it is being left to the very last minute in order to force people to pay the absolute maximum, I know this probably sounds a bit paranoid but it feels like just another way of the Government getting more money from us!

jasperoo Sun 11-May-14 21:24:25

Hello Mums,

I am in the same boat as so many of you. Needless to say the (un)help(ful) line have been thoroughly frustrating. I called on Friday to find out what stage our passport applications were at. I was told that the applications were received on the 16th of April and checked on he 25th of April but they were unable to tell me when they would be printed, stating that there was no information regarding this on the system. I then asked if I could be upgraded for the 7 day services as we are supposed to fly on Friday (16th ), which would have been cutting it fine. I was told that she would email Liverpool and request they contact me so that I could pay for the upgrade and get the ball rolling. At no point was I told that I would have to wait 48 hours. So in the middle of the afternoon I called back and was told that the initial email had never been sent but the very helpful girl read the email she was sending explaining that we would be flying in 7 days. I was then told I would be contacted in 24 hours but at the absolute latest 48, which would have been today.

Anyway no call comes and so I contact the (un)help(ful) line again to be told that even though there probably are people doing overtime at the Liverpool office today I could not expect my call back until Tuesday !!! now Friday to Tuesday !! I explained that all I wanted to know is if my passport is likely to be printed this week, obviously if I get a call back on Tuesday I will not have time for a 7 day turn around! I am willing to drive to Liverpool I just want to know where we stand.

Does anyone have the direct line for the Liverpool office? I am at my wits end.

Frustration does not even come close! Even though I have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we will not be going to Italy on Friday I couldn't help but cry when I got off the phone today.

I really feel like it is being left to the very last minute in order to force people to pay the absolute maximum, I know this probably sounds a bit paranoid but it feels like just another way of the Government getting more money from us!

Nicolaplustwo Wed 14-May-14 00:27:11

I too am at my wits end. My daughters application was received in Durham on the 12th April and it's not yet been reviewed by the examiners. I have rang the helpline weekly since three weeks and have have assured me that it will arrive. Now they are saying it looks unlikely it will arrive for our trip to disneyland on the 27th may. I've a call back booked to Durham and keep e mailing for updates. It's making me feel ill.

Nicolaplustwo Wed 14-May-14 12:15:11

By way of an update I e mailed my MP in the early hours this morning and have received a phone call from a case worker. They are contacting the passport office by a separate helpline just for MP's. He said its something they get involved with a lot and does tend to help the process. Still no passport but at least I have someone else on my side! Additionally one of the delays for my daughters passport is because I didn't pay £3 for recorded delivery return of the birth certificate. However I didn't request this. It meant the application was paused whilst they wrote to me for £3 and them re entered the system from scratch.

torran1 Wed 14-May-14 16:40:47


I am in the exact same boat i sent my application for my daughters passport in on the 15th of April to Glasgow and they sent it on to Durham who have been incredibly slow in processing. I have been on the phone to the 0300 help line who are completely hopeless and this has got me nowhere fast. If the Passport office removed any mention of a 3 week turn around time they would do themselves a massive favor and avoid a lot of hassle. I'm due to leave on the 22nd, I'm not crossing my fingers though =(

joby37 Thu 15-May-14 18:27:13


Nicolaplustwo Fri 16-May-14 11:11:31

My MP's office has been in contact with them and I finally got a phone call today from Durham. It wasn't from the upgrade team but was a result of the MP phone call. He advised that he will speak to the upgrade team but that they work to travel dates so I may not here from them until Thursday. Said they would get the passport ready and then call to take payment and arrange the courier so I have to sit tight. He had looked at the application and there were no errors and it was straightforward. However the upgrade hasn't yet been agreed and I won't know if it has until Thursday and the passport is needed on Friday ready for bank holiday travel! He gave me the direct line to Durham with strict instructions not to abuse it and not to use it before Thursday!! Yeah right as if I'm going to leave it until Thursday.

Daryl123 Fri 16-May-14 12:58:48

I have been having the same problems called the advice line 100 times with no luck !!


For Liverpool office call 0845 601 5107

For Durham office call 0845 6015175


They sorted mine out within 2 hours


Nicolaplustwo Fri 16-May-14 14:22:31

They've said to me that they upgrade applications according to date of travel so mine won't be processed and received until right at the last minute. I've never been so anxious and stressed in my life!

Tiredemma Fri 16-May-14 15:10:03

I sent DPs renewal and DD's first passport in last week of April

As soon as I posted the application forms I realised that I hadn't included DD's Birth Certificate so spent a week trying to speak to someone helpful on the 0300 number. No joy. (they really are pointless)

So I phoned Durham and spoke to a lovely man who said my applications still hadnt been seen by the examiners but not to worry, I still had plenty of time- wait a week.

So ive been back and forth now to Durham - they are very friendly people and helpful but because the examiners haven't looked at the applications yet there is very little they can do.

I now have to wait until Monday to request an 'upgrade' (costing £££extra)- I also cant send in the birth certificate until I know which upgrade team to send it to.

Once its upgraded and examined- does it take very long to process?

Nicolaplustwo Fri 16-May-14 15:36:35

They can do them and courier them very quickly but it's getting through to one of the upgrade examiners that takes a long time. They also work to your travel date Durham have advised me so you may not hear straight away. My booked call back never materialised but they are working Saturday and Sundays at the moment

Tiredemma Fri 16-May-14 15:49:11

I think my biggest anxiety is the birth certificate thing- because obviously if the examiner doesnt look at our application until say, the 27th and then discovers that my application is minus the birth cert- then its cut it down really fine.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I am not sleeping!

Posted on the other thread, but just a quick question: Durham told me today that DS's passport has been approved and sent for printing, but that it will take ten working days to get to me.

I am in Paris, but still, DHL only takes 48 hours! Has anyone else been given a really long lead time for printing?

Jo4274 Fri 16-May-14 21:59:52

Reading these threads have made me more anxious and upset....we travel on Sun 18th and my sons passport hasn't arrived. It's a replacement for a lost passport and I had to put the date of travel on the form, they obviously don't take any notice of it though!!! I've had to tell him tonight we might not be going on holiday and he's heartbroken. Iv tried since Tues to get a call back from Durham and despite 3 complaints to managers and my MP emailing them I'm still waiting. I received a text 3 weeks ago telling me it was being processed but still nothing.
This can't keep happening, too many people are being let down and left out of pocket and devastated. I'm contacting my local newspaper in morning, hopefully the more people complain and take matters further something will be done to change the process.

Tiredemma Mon 19-May-14 06:31:59

Right im going to TRY and Upgrade these passports today AND try and get some kind of idea where I should send the birth certificate to.

I told them last week that we fly on the 31st May but just realised that we actually fly at 7am so I need the passports for the 30th.

Rockinghorse123 Mon 19-May-14 06:46:57

I am also in the same boat as so many others! Wait for my DS 1st passport which I sent off 5 weeks ago! I didn't realise there was a backlog until I saw this thread as the woman told me it was only taking around 2weeks at the minute, I was starting to panic something was wrong even though I paid for check and send!
I rang them last week and they should be ringing me today, although after reading the recent post on this thread I'm not hopeful!
We don't fly until 3rd of next month so I've got a little bit of time!

daffodilly37 Mon 19-May-14 13:09:33

Thank you sooooo much Daryl123 you may have saved my life. Got through to Liverpool after a week of waiting for promised ring backs. Spoke to a nice helpful lady who has said we can upgrade and get my son's passport for Friday. We fly on the 27th nobody cared on the 0300 number!!!!!! They have had the application over a month, I did check and send. We applied for 6 passports 2 were first ones had all the others just not my 3yr olds. Still a possibility I may have to collect it it but she assured me we'll have it. Without you posting the number I would have been out of time. Hope u all get ur pp. The stress is killing me!!!!

JenLouKell Mon 19-May-14 14:34:50

Thanks to this thread and the advice given I received my babies passport this morning.
I was persistent with calling the Liverpool office on 08456012058 and I also got in touch with my MP.
People are being told they can upgrade for £60.50 but if you chase them early enough then you shouldn't need to do this.
The 0300 gave me some terrible advice and I am so pleased I got the advice from here in time.

daffodilly37 Mon 19-May-14 17:35:53

Thank you sooooo much Daryl123 you may have saved my life. Got through to Liverpool after a week of waiting for promised ring backs. Spoke to a nice helpful lady who has said we can upgrade and get my son's passport for Friday. We fly on the 27th nobody cared on the 0300 number!!!!!! They have had the application over a month, I did check and send. We applied for 6 passports 2 were first ones had all the others just not my 3yr olds. Still a possibility I may have to collect it it but she assured me we'll have it. Without you posting the number I would have been out of time. Hope u all get ur pp. The stress is killing me!!!!

daffodilly37 Mon 19-May-14 17:38:06

Sorry it posted twice.......jenloukell when do you fly.......I've been told I need to pay the £60.00

stikkinikki78 Mon 19-May-14 20:49:30

I'm waiting to.... on my son's renewel passport. We should be travelling out on the 3 / 6 / 14 all I keep being told is that my application is with the inspector. I'm so stressed out.

stikkinikki78 Tue 20-May-14 00:00:04

Yes people do need to complain because yes it's a busy period so at busy times they should employ more staff so they don't have a backlog. I'm so angry with them, all I keep being told is that the passport with the inspector.

Curlybrunette Wed 21-May-14 07:53:21

Hi everyone,

I'm so glad I've found this thread (wish I'd looked earlier though!). I'm in the same situation, we travel 6am Saturday morning and still no renewal passport for my youngest.
I am so stressed, to be fair we left it late but they had the renewal form for a week before it was even classed as being recieved, now it's been sat with the inspector for nearly 3 weeks but again hasn't been passed - or looked at according to whoever I spoke to yesterday.
I'm going to try the other phone numbers today (thanks a lot for those). yesterday I was told point blank no we wouldn't get it but you ladies have given me hope that with a good bit of badgering I might get somewhere.
The form is at Liverpool which by the sounds of it may be slightly better than Durham?
What a blummin awful situation.
Good luck everyone

PestoSunnyissimos Wed 21-May-14 08:00:22

Good luck Curly

Curlybrunette Wed 21-May-14 09:41:21

Can I just check, I've been on hold (just the recorded message telling me to ring the other line if I haven't got a letter etc. then a few rings) for over half an hour with the 0845 6015107 number. I'm hoping they answer eventually!
The other number 0845 6012058 is just ringing and ringing, no recorded message at all. Is this what some of you have had or is the number no longer in use?

Curlybrunette Wed 21-May-14 09:41:41

Thanks Pesto

Curlybrunette Wed 21-May-14 09:53:32

Just spoke to a lovely lady who has upgraded us. Cost an extra £60.50 but at this point I do not care!

She has said the inspector will ring back to arrange payment and delivery, how long do I leave it before I ring them if they don't ring me?


Jaxkidjacqui Wed 21-May-14 10:08:27

Hi there.
Could you tell me what number you rang that gave you upgrade this morning please? We travel Saturday too and I am so worried sad.

Jaxkidjacqui Wed 21-May-14 10:48:24

So this morning I was told twice by people on 0300 number that my daughters renewal was still being processed and there was no print date yet. My local MP called them for me this morning and I've just had a call from Durham to say it was printed yesterday and will be with me by tomorrow. Could have cried - ok I did! Don't settle for talking to 0300 number - wastes precious time x

Jamieg290685 Wed 21-May-14 13:38:45

@curlybrunette same situation here got upgraded to premium service this am, called up just now to chase to be told as I am travelling Sunday won't get a call back till Thursday or Friday as they work in order of travel date and are still working on passports travelling tomorrow??????

Wendy1980 Wed 21-May-14 14:05:58

Well I have to say I am so glad I saw this message board as it gave me the vital number (thanks Daryl123) that I needed to contact Durham directly....initially I called the advice line and Was told on the 1st of May that my sons application was well under way and there would be no issue with travel on 23rd May, however on calling the office again after I still hadn't rcvd the passport on Monday I was advised that my sons application hadn't in fact been touched and it was unlikely I'd get the passport back for our date of travel.... As you can imagine I was beside myself with worry, being told to await the 48 hours as they'd 'sent a message to durham'. I eventually stumbled upon this message board on Tuesday morning after having had no sleep and the idea of eating a complete no, no.. I called Durham directly on the 0845 number, spoke to a really helpful guy and then a lovely lady who sent the passport though for upgrade, advised of the £60.50 fee and told me to be patient and rest assured that if it could be done in time, then it would be done... After another sleepless night, banging head and complete loss of appetite I received the long awaited call about an hour ago to say that the application was fine, passed for printing and my husband will be collecting in person tomorrow morning! I have to say that I have never been so stressed about anything like this in my life and the prospect of telling our 6yr old son and 3yr old daughter that we wouldn't be going on holiday was just unbearable and brought me to tears at the thought of having to actually say those words to them..... Luckily, my story has a happy ending and we will have passport in hand tomorrow as I have since had another reassuring call from Durham to confirm 100% that the passport will be waiting for us tomorrow and we will make our holiday on Friday. I have to reassure you guys still waiting that I've spoken to 4 people over in Durham now and I can honestly say each and every one of those people were compassionate and have clearly gone the extra mile to ensure that we were able to travel on Friday.. It's so stressful waiting and wondering and hoping that your passport will be ready and with you in time, but have faith and I think my experience with the Durham passport office direct over the last 24hrs has been nothing but positive... Even though I'm now at least 10lb lighter and may need to educate my body how to absorb food and sleep again.. I got the passport in the end and really against the odds! smile

Curlybrunette Wed 21-May-14 14:21:16

I'm really pleased you're sorted jaxkidjacqui and wendy. This whole thing has been more stressful then I could ever imagine.

I've waited 4 hours for them to ring me back and arrange the payment of the £60 etc but I can't stand it anymore so once again I'm on hold! I felt really relieved this morning but am stressing again now until I actually hear someone say it's printed.

Jamieg I hope you get your's ok, finger's crossed for you.

We'll have to start a new thread after this telling each other about our lovely holidays that we WILL get on when the passport office finally pull their fingers out!?!?!

nikki1391 Wed 21-May-14 14:58:30

When did you send it off? Been waiting 3 weeks for daughters renewal. Tried to get get through to the 0300 about 10 times between 8-9am as their callback service was unavailable and they kept disconnecting me after a few mins on hold...I've now been on callback for almost 2 hours with no response yet. All I want is a progress update argh! Don't want to call any office direct as i have no idea what office it's at

LordFocus Wed 21-May-14 16:41:32

i have been waiting 3 weeks for son's renewal but am having no joy on any number. is anyone having any luck getting through to durham?? am desperado - am flying on 26th.

cbrunton Wed 21-May-14 17:00:55

Hi guys,

Just wondering if any of you knew what would happen if they failed to get the passport out to you in time? Will they continue to process it and get it to you whenever they can?

Jamieg290685 Wed 21-May-14 17:12:52

I have to say although I am still waiting the Durham lady I spoke with was very friendly and is doing her best whilst the 0300 team are a shambles and know nothing, I called today and pretended to be applying for a new passport, I asked for a premium service and said I was travelling in 4 weeks to see what they said and to my surprise was told to apply through post office as they will do it in 3 weeks lol so much fun when I then told them I had applied over 4 weeks ago and still waiting #totalshambles

Jamieg290685 Wed 21-May-14 17:35:29

Hi curly brunette can you let us all know what they say when you get through we are in a similar situation

Tiredemma Wed 21-May-14 17:43:25

wendy I agree- veryone at Durham has been lovely

Daryl123 Wed 21-May-14 20:24:43

No problem once I called that number and spoke to them I had my passport expressed to me within 24 hours .

I'm glad you got it sorted and I'm please to know I helped you all to have a good trip :-) enjoy

daffodilly37 Thu 22-May-14 05:28:08

just to up date you all I paid the 60.50 up grade on son's passport arrived yesterday morning at 9.30am........soo happy I cried. I can now pack to go I have felt sick to my stomach over it. Th e amount of people having this issue does make me wonder if this 60.50 charge is a big money spinner...........Hope you all jet off to the sun too x

Tiredemma Thu 22-May-14 07:12:46

Daffodilly- really pleased for you!! I noticed that you said two of your passports were first ones- were they delayed also? as I ahve already said- I am worried that them needing to contact countersignatory will delay mine. We need the passports for the 30th

daffodilly37 Thu 22-May-14 07:44:45

Yes two of them were first passports, yet only one was delayed. What confused me was my step daughters passport took 2.5 weeks......her mother was born in Hong Kong and I didn't have any of the information required regarding her grandparents or her mother being naturalized. My son's should have been the straightforward one yet that was the one delayed. Keep trying the numbers given as the 0300 will not get back to you and we have à bank holiday. I hope yours come x

cbrunton Thu 22-May-14 08:14:14

Does anyone know whether you can just turn up at durham if they have your passport without an appointment? Things are getting desperate now :-( first holiday.

Lisahop Thu 22-May-14 09:12:25

I have had exactly the same awful experience as all the other people on here. Sent 3 passports off on 23rd April mine and my sons cam back early last week exactly on the 3 week timeframe, but my Daughters still missing. Tried the pointless 0300 number at least 20 times last week got through but useless info given and all the promised call backs never materialised. Found out that it was in Durham and got the number from mums net, thank god! Durham have been great and finally yesterday got a call to upgrade and we can collect at lunchtime today we travel early hours tomora. I got my MPs office involved, don't know if it made any difference though. Basically facts are they aren't really looking at applications until at least 4 weeks after receipt if you call to chase and upgrade they are working travel date order so wherever possible you need to collect yourself. Number for Durham 0845 6015175 also 01913707070.
If you turn up without an appointment or having already been told you can collect I don't think they can help you, seen several reports on facebook and other mums net streams that they just give you the 0845 number to ring.
This whole situation is a joke MPs office has said we should all complain to HMPO and copy our complaints to our MPs. I also think we should all contact watchdog. This rubbish has been going on for years when you read all the streams.
Best advise don't give up keep phoning everyone but be prepared that it will probably be a eleventh hour resolution.
Good luck!!

ineedaholidaymummy Thu 22-May-14 09:36:25

I'm in a very similar situation as many. I posted four passports on April 11th, two child renewals and one first child passport. I also sent mine, which was a replacement lost passport with a name change. I was confident the children's ones would arrive but was worried about my own, more complicated one. When mine arrived back within 13 working days, I was relieved.

But the kids ones haven't even been looked at! We are due to travel in the early hours of next Wednesday. As everyone above, I made numerous fruitless calls to the 0300 number, never received call backs etc etc. I got my MP involved last week and he arranged an upgrade at a cost of £181.50! I rang the 0845 number yesterday to ask how it was progressing as I was worried no one had rung for payment yet and unsurprisingly, there was no upgrade on the applications. Not only had everyone of the 20+ people I'd already spoken to LIED to me, but they had also failed to notice DD3 had the wrong DoB on the application despite them asking me to confirm it every time I rang. I'm absolutely fuming!

Anyway, the nice (stressed sounding) lady at Durham has put it forward to upgrades with a note confirming DD3s DoB is as the birth certificate, I had to answer loads of security questions about the application to confirm though. There is no guarantee that the upgrade team will accept the applications so I now have a nervous wait for a phone call.

I'm really worried they won't get done in time with it being bank holiday on Monday. I honestly can't deal with all the stress any more- we booked the holiday as two months ago I had severe pneumonia and double pleurisy. It was meant to be a relaxing break away to help me recover, its turned into an utter farce.

Jamieg290685 Thu 22-May-14 09:41:53

Hi Lisa did you get through oh the 0191 number

Kazzadoll Thu 22-May-14 13:52:10

Hi everyone! I am in the same position, desperately trying to get through to someone to help me! I have been waiting on the liverpool office for nearly an hour, do they ever answer? I am calling them on 0845 601 5107. Have others spent this long waiting?

Jamieg290685 Thu 22-May-14 14:48:06

Just quick update, had a call from the friendliest person ever at Durham who has taken payment and my passport will be here by 1pm on Saturday smile perseverance and a combination of me, my mp and the Durham switchboard have finally won through smile so stick in there

cbrunton Thu 22-May-14 14:56:50

Hi what number did you call on? I'm sooo jealous.

Jamieg290685 Thu 22-May-14 15:53:19

Hi I called the 08456015175 number but i know my mp also went to the home office minister to push the case so not sure which pushed them more the call to Durham or my mp smile

cbrunton Thu 22-May-14 15:59:48

Oh good for you @JamieG just had feedback from my MP's office and apparently the 2 urgent requests for my passport are lacking information. I travel on Saturday and I'm a nervous wreck atm. Waiting on more feedback.

Jamieg290685 Thu 22-May-14 16:07:09

Everything crossed for you @cbrunton hope they sort out the missing info, can't believe it gets to the point where we have to get mps involved

Curlybrunette Thu 22-May-14 16:39:37

cbrunton I really hope you get sorted.

I feel a bit nervous to say it out loud but I think we are getting ds's passport!

Got told no again this morning - after 52 mins waiting to get through - but an hour later someone else rang back (I know, someone actually rang back, can you believe it!?) and took payment, they arranged for special delivery by 9am tomorrow morning, just in time for our 6am Saturday flight. Phew.

She then rang back 2 hours later and said the payment hadn't gone through for some reason so I had to give her the card details again, but then she said she might have missed the special delivery time. So I know there is a passport somewhere for ds but I don't know if it made the post or not. I have visions of it going to the royal mail but it being too late for tomorrow's delivery so me having to drive around the country trailing a mail van...

ineedaholidaymummy Thu 22-May-14 16:39:48

I still haven't heard from the upgrade team, it seems they're working on applications of people flying on Sunday today, so does that mean I shouldn't expect a call until Sunday about mine (we travel Wednesday) I know they're open weekends and bank holidays, but surely not fully staffed? #panic

Curlybrunette Thu 22-May-14 18:48:50

We only heard today and we fly Saturday so perhaps you might not hear until Monday?

Sending positive vibes your way x

Tiredemma Thu 22-May-14 19:08:07

The woman I spoke to today said to not expect a call until at least next tuesday (we fly saturday but need passports friday)- she did say that this weekend is very busy for upgrades as its beginning of half term but middle of next week will filter out a bit.

livi2014 Thu 22-May-14 20:44:32

Oh gosh so worried after reading some of these messages. I applied for my sons first passport late april and received the text saying they had got it 4 days later. Still no sign of the passport after being reassured by the post office it would deffo be here after 3 weeks. Called the 0300 number to ask for an upgrade, they said i need to wait 48 hours to see if im allowed one. Do they accept all upgrade requests ? Also does anyone no if i can go pick it up without an appointment seen as they already have all our info? so stressed :'( xx

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 10:05:16

Good news, phoned the 0845 number frantically this morning asking for more information. Got told someone would be in contact in due course. Came off the phone and wanted more information - after waiting for 15minutes I had an unknown number call me and much to my shock and surprise it was the Passport Office to take payment.

Waiting on a call back now to get the tracking number but all looking good. Just need to worry about the curfew in Thailand now.

My advice is call your MP first and foremost and they will help you as much as they can :-)

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 10:08:30

great news cbrunton. when do you travel?

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 10:19:06

Travel tomorrow at 3. Cutting it fine.

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 10:24:19

God I dont think I can cope with another week of this.

hmmm, sent mine off 3 weeks ago and havent had the text to say it arrived. Fortunately I'm not in a rush, but where's my text?

livi2014 Fri 23-May-14 10:31:31

I'd give them a call to see if they have recieved it ? I can't stand another day either I want to just keep calling but don't think il get anywhere. Going to give them a try tomorrow if I don't hear anything. X

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 10:32:27

livi when do you travel?

I did it by special delivery so I can see if it got there I think.

Yeah, mine got there. That's something.

livi2014 Fri 23-May-14 10:41:17

In 2 weeks we travel. I'm on a training course the week before we fly for a new job so I'm even more worried I can't go down to Durham then if needs be :/ x

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 11:07:37

Just a heads up the 0845 number says it opens at 9am.. however I got through at 8am this morning and was speaking to someone within 5minutes.

livi2014 Fri 23-May-14 11:11:14

Thanks cbrunton is that the direct number to Durham ?

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 11:21:26

Im not hopeful at all. When I spoke to the person at Durham earlier this week to request the upgrade they gave me the address of the team to send her Birth Certificate to. They said to send it normal first class post as sending it special delivery causes another 2 day delay due it needing to be processed differently internally.

I phoned yesterday and today to see if its arrived and looking at my application they cant see if its actually there or not.

Been told to call back now on tuesday.

I feel physically sick. Will be stressed all weekend

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 11:44:18

Yeah that's the direct number, just keep trying and trying. It eventually puts you through. I feel for everyone going through this - had the worst last few days ever.

livi2014 Fri 23-May-14 11:53:28

Thank you I will give them a try. Emma when do you travel ?

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 11:54:34

I'm not sure I can take yet another sleepless night. I just need that phone call to take payment of £181. Has anyone else heard anything today? On the upside, all this stress is great for the pre holiday diet!

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 12:08:14

we travel on may 31st but early in the morning. Need teh passports for Friday really.

I dont think its going to happen to be honest now sad- it doesnt sound like the birth Certificate is there and that is my own fault for not putting it in the application envelope.

idiot. I only have myself to blame.

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 12:15:37

I hadn't snacked since Wednesday due to the stress and worry. Got a feeling with the bank holiday weekend that may end :-)

tiredemma - have faith and keep calling/speak to mp. On Tuesday I had no hope.

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 12:21:17

I am really reluctant to involve the MP. A ridiculous part of me thinks that if I do then ill just piss the passport office off and they wont approve the application- I should have put in birth certificate but didnt.

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 12:27:08

cbrunton- you say earlier up the thread that yours was 'lacking information'- what else did they need?

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 13:24:05

I just missed a call from the examiner, I was blooming driving! She is on her lunch break then will call me back.... talk about an anxious wait!

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 13:31:44

Get your MP involved tiredemma, they have a direct line through to the passport office and apparently it happens all the time so it won't p*as them off. Good luck!

livi2014 Fri 23-May-14 13:33:08

It's not looking good for us, got through to the Duram office after 40 mins hold to be told that are application is no where near close to being examined. Asked for fast track so need to wait until next Tuesday to hear about that sad lost all hope now. Good luck to the rest of u x

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 13:50:47

They didn't say but when my MP's office manager found out that it was missing information she contacted the MP and he called the Passport office direct asking for it to be processed ASAP. So it's anything but going to annoy them. I kept pestering and pestering, and my MP's office did also.

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 14:16:14

Our passports are off to be printed this afternoon and will be ready for collection tomorrow. The charge for guaranteed delivery is an extra £13 each which makes it expensive for me needing three so we chose to pick up. I have to say that once I spoke to Durham, particularly the examiner, they have bent over backwards to help us out and I couldn't praise them any more. Just a shame about the unhelpful helpline!

Please don't give up hope yet I'd you're still waiting, they do seem to be doing all they can to get people off on their holidays on time.

Tiredemma Fri 23-May-14 14:27:33

Thats great news ineedaholiday- you are going on wednesday? We need ours for friday so I could get a call sunday or monday then???FINGERS CROSSED.

Still worried about the birth certificate though

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 14:41:52

We travel Wednesday morning so I needed them for Tuesday, but hopefully it won't be long. I have fingers, toes, arms and legs crossed for everyone. Its a horrible situation to be in, but it will be resolved soon xx

cbrunton Fri 23-May-14 14:45:18

Fingers crossed tiredemma. We are going to Thailand and just found out that there is a curfew from 10pm-5am angry

Tchavda Fri 23-May-14 15:42:23

Ineedaholidaymummy how did you get through to an examiner?? We travel on Wednesday morning too the upgrade team still haven't called me back!!

dazcheff Fri 23-May-14 17:20:15

I also travel on Wednesday and not had a call yet really worried now especially with the bank holiday

Catman123 Fri 23-May-14 19:44:02

Same here really worrying now we travel next Monday and ain't had how baby 1st passport they had it 3 weeks now going to phone how mp if we can't get any were by next Tuesday

dazcheff Fri 23-May-14 19:48:00

Works for the passport office take a look at what she has written

Dryer42 Fri 23-May-14 20:53:27

I fly on Sunday and got my call today! Picking up in morning. If you are on the upgrade list I'm sure you will get the call but not more than 48hrs before travel! It's getting on the list that seems to be the problem! My Mp's influence over a week ago is the only thing that got me there I am sure! After that it's just hold, hold, hold and beg, beg, beg!! I really feel for everybody here and have my fingers xd for you all. It's been the longest 2 weeks of my life and I really do need this holiday for certain now! Something needs to be done about why soo many people get stuck in the system?

ineedaholidaymummy Fri 23-May-14 21:37:57

I rang 0845 on Wednesday and arranged the upgrade, and to be honest I wasn't expecting the call back so soon and missed it. The examiner Rebecca left her direct number on my voicemail. My MP was involved though, he arranged the upgrade late on Tuesday and I rang to confirm on Wednesday morning.

Might see you at Durham PO tomorrow Dryer42 ��

Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 06:56:02
Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 07:02:46

I didnt sleep again last night (or I did, until about 2.30am when I woke up thirsty)- then I couldnt get back to sleep as I just lay there thinking about these bloody passports.

Don't normally follow Daily Mail links but what a load of spin from the passport office!

Part of the volume increase will be people reading that there is an issue and so submitting their passports for renewed ever earlier. It becomes quite self perpetuating.

kerry0 Sat 24-May-14 09:16:35

Hi everyone I am honestly so happy I have came across this thread I too have had so many issues with the 0300 number so glad its not just me! Well I sent my 4 year olds application away 7 weeks ago! Phoned constantly was just told in examination then they hit me witb a bombshell on thurs tht they are still waiting on more information from countersignature, couldnt believe I wasnt told before then, I have phoned durham passport office but says closed does this mean I cant speak to them until tue? I go on holiday 2 weeks today and thought I had sent away in plenty of time but obviously not sad

livi2014 Sat 24-May-14 09:40:39

I go away 2 weeks today too Kerry. The lady i spoke to at Durham yesterday said she will take my form out and put me in the que of fast track applications an there is still no guarantee that I will get it. Iv contacted the local MP and he seems willing to help. Try that x

Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 09:50:16

livi did you have your barcode? I dont have ours and I dont think my MP will help without it.

we travel a week today at 7am.

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 10:39:02

Try phoning again and all it say we'll ring you bk 48 hour are at 3 today so let's see what happen

livi2014 Sat 24-May-14 10:49:38

Yeh Hun I do have the barcode. Did u use check and send ?

l222net Sat 24-May-14 11:31:42

I am trying to get through on the 0300 number but after about 10 minutes it automatically puts you through to receive an automatic callback but I never receive a callback! How would I know which office to try and contact direct? I notice a lot on this post mention Durham but is this for everyone? It's for my 2 year old son and we live in warrington if this makes a difference to which office?

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 12:15:10

Hi1222 yes it we'll be Durham it mad we live 6 hour from there how how son 1 is there we live 130min from Newport office but still seen it to Durham the office is now close to Tuesday so not much we can do as same I ring 0300 number and no one pick up or get bk but they r open to 5 today

l222net Sat 24-May-14 12:35:32

Thank you, i'll keep trying and if still no callback i'll call Durham on tues morning. The online email is rubbish the reply I got a few days seemed to be a standard email with date they received and then standard completion dates and looks like they just change the date received for each person so wasn't saying where in the process it's up to.

I did my daughter's 3 years ago and was back in two weeks so really easy!

cbrunton Sat 24-May-14 12:55:13

Hi guys, just to let you know that Durham phone number is open from 8am not 9am as the message says.

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 12:57:39

It my baby 1st 1 we sent it off 3weeks ago by check and send the post office lady say oooo yes you have it back in 3weeks we go on the 2 nd of June it my best m8 weeding I am best man my gf bird maze my son page boy they are all ready out there as there when for 3 weeks I do be leave if I call get hold of someone at Dunham then I get it sorted if not then I go up there in person they are playing with how life

jamtoast12 Sat 24-May-14 14:10:12

You can't just turn up at a passport office I'm afraid. I did that recently with liverpool, they'll have a quick chat then refer you to an area with free phones directing you to the 0300 number.

dazcheff Sat 24-May-14 14:23:39

Got till Tuesday to get mine from durham. If a miracle happens looks like ill be driving the 6hr each way to collect. Fingers crossed.

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 14:29:55

Sorry jamtoast12 but some body as to try and help you at office there can't just say go away so if mine ain't here by wedensday I be doing the 6 hours drive to really how long does it take to print

dazcheff Sat 24-May-14 14:37:39

Same here I will be going to durham Tuesday if I have not had a call.

Mandymoo87 Sat 24-May-14 14:48:16

Just wondered if any1 can help me?! Go away in 2 weeks and passport office has my fellas damaged passport for 3 weeks now the people iv spoken to have been so rude and unhelpful and have basically said we might not be able to go away! Does anybody no about damaged passports? Can we upgrade to express? X

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 14:50:26

Make sure you do dazcheff it make me laugh what do they won't me to do leave my 14 mouth baby at home it a joke try 8 time today on 0300 number as still not talk to any one I can't eat or drink because I worrying so much

zipzap Sat 24-May-14 14:52:17

mandy from reading several passport threads, the best thing to do in your situation is to get your MP involved. Unfortunately it's a bank holiday weekend which delays it a bit, but make contact with them as soon as you can!

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 14:52:28

Mandymoo87 hi your case is easy because it damaged one and not your 1st u can go to we're the office is and pay and one same day

TheThinksYouCanThink Sat 24-May-14 15:15:11

Okay, well I have officially given up! I could cry!
We were supposed to fly on this Tuesday and I sent my daughters passport application 4 weeks ago, have spent 8 days trying to get through to someone who could tell me where it is but all I get is the 48hr callback and not a single person has rang me back yet.
So I am resigned, I have to either explain to my DS's that their much looked forward to holiday will have to be cancelled or I stay at home with my 8 month old daughter at home and send the ds's with dh ( which dh currently will not agree to!) now there is a choice nobody should have to make.

zipzap Sat 24-May-14 15:20:07

thinks have you tried your MP yet? Might be too late now but worth sending them a message!

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 15:28:52

Hi thethinkucan there are still working today tom and Monday just go to office bang on door there got to do somethik

Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 15:41:00

Im just curious- lots of threads about this on here- but has anyone actually NOT had their passport returned back in time?

Most of the threads I have seen have people panic stricken (like I currently am) and then a joyous post of getting the passport with 48-24 hours to spare.

I dont think there are many (if at all) of people not getting an upgrade- even if it is close to the bone and within hours of travelling.

It does give me some hope.....

TheThinksYouCanThink Sat 24-May-14 15:41:19

Had no answer from MP, zipzap
The problem is catman because nobody will talk to us, we have no idea where DD's passport is.
If they had contacted us in the first 3 days that we tried then we could have at least tried to upgrade the application.
I think they are ignoring us because they know there is nothing that can be done.

TheThinksYouCanThink Sat 24-May-14 15:44:09

Hope so, Tired but bearing in mind it is a bank holiday and I have not managed to talk to a single person past the 0300 call centre, I am not holding out much hope!

Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 15:45:34

Did you at any point ever get hold of anyone through the 0845 number?

MuttonCadet Sat 24-May-14 15:45:52

My friend went and got his sons passport from Durham today, you can go in person.

Tiredemma Sat 24-May-14 15:47:33

Did he have an apt mutton? What did he do?

AnneEyhtMeyer Sat 24-May-14 15:49:18

Apparently they are quoting at least 3 months for a child's new or renewal passport at the minute according to our travel agent friend.

MuttonCadet Sat 24-May-14 16:06:23

He got on the train from London to Durham and waited, he's now on his way home with his boys passport.

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 16:13:26

I ring the 0300 number there got to tel u were it is

jamtoast12 Sat 24-May-14 16:19:57

Anne I think it may depend on area. I have mates whose have come back in 3 weeks for renewal and 4 for child forst passport.that's liverpool.

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 16:21:44

Mutton that good what did here have to do and say for them to do it and did here get it today on a satday

l222net Sat 24-May-14 16:22:49

If I live in warrington will it be Liverpool or still Durham?

SteadyEddie Sat 24-May-14 16:26:04

Anyone done theirs online and sent it to Belfast? Do they have the same backlog as Durham?

ineedaholidaymummy Sat 24-May-14 16:30:24

Whilst you can get them in person, K can categorically tell you they WILL NOT give you a passport at Durham without an appointment. I was there earlier picking my daughters up, and there was a young lady trying to get one without an appointment and she sadly got so cross she had to be thrown out by security. There were over a hundred people waiting in the office and the staff were working their fingers off to get people sorted- please don't think they aren't trying to help.

I would say once again that if you're in this position, call Durham direct on the 0845 number, they are much more efficient than the advice line and WILL call back when they say. It might also help getting your MP involved.

I am now happily in receipt of three shiny new passports and I'm off to start packing (my poor debit card isn't happy with me though!) good luck everyone

Megan2304 Sat 24-May-14 16:32:25

Hi everyone!
After reading every flipping post on here (and trust me theres a LOT) Ive come to the decision id ask you guys what you think my best options are.
So I sent my passport off 1st class in the post on the 12th of May, had an email saying they had received it on the 14th of May and it was 'currenlty going through examination process.'
Some important information for you... I FLY IN 9 DAYS! I fly on the 2nd of June. Ive been calling the passport office since Thursday, must of rang over 100 times and funnily enough only ever spoken to someone twice. And to my surprise (not) they could only tell me what the email said, that its going through the examination process. I am now waiting a call back which should come on either Monday (unlikey, she said) or Tuesday, AND THEN the lady on the phone told me my only options were to pay £110 for premium delivery to go and pick it up from Liverpool.
I understand I could of probably sent it off earlier but it was a surprise holiday for my birthday so sent it off when I could!
Ive just emailed my local MP,, as some messages said it helped their application process.
Can anyone confirm the direct Liverpool Passport Office Number so I can ring it next Monday?
And can anyone please suggest what else I can do!!

MuttonCadet Sat 24-May-14 16:34:39

He got it today definitely, let me contact him and get it from the horses mouth.

jamtoast12 Sat 24-May-14 16:35:23


I had mine replaced as it was damaged and how they deal with it will depend on how damaged it is. Damaged passports cannot be renewed on a one day basis...the quickest method possible is a one week fast track because they have to verify your identity. In my case I booked a one week fast track appointment but as the laminate and photo were intact (so no issue of interference) they did it was a renewal. Had there been any signs of tampering (pages missing, photo dislodged etc) they can't do it that quick as they have extra checks to do to verify the identify of the person. So when you ring them, if they haven't seen it, they will need to examine it to see what state it's in.

For anyone thinking of going the liverpool office, seriously you are wasting your time. I went 3 weeks ago. Firstly you may not even get past security (it's like airport passport control, going through scanners, items placed in boxes etc) If you make it to the desk the lady just points to 3 yellow phones connecting to the 0300 number. There's literally loads of people sat there with appointment so you can't just get one. It took me a week to get an appointment, even though I turned up before. In addition, because they are not allowed to have people there without appointments (literally the security usher you to desk, then escort you out) you don't get to hang around for someone senior etc. not tying to sound negative honestly it's just a long way to go to be sent home.

MuttonCadet Sat 24-May-14 16:52:40

Okay, this is verbatim what my friend did.......

Turned up at 8am, no appointment but they had been sitting on it for 3 weeks. They took my name and upgraded the application (at a price!) and was done by 1.30.

l222net Sat 24-May-14 17:03:06

Finally got through on 0300 number. My application is at the Liverpool office and still not been looked at. They have emailed them and asked for it to be fast tracked and said I can expect a call back to say if it can be or not on monday/Tuesday.

Mandymoo87 Sat 24-May-14 17:44:43

Thanx guys! It has apparently been examined for the last 2 weeks, it was a mess as my dog ate it!! Can we upgrade to express do u no? Will happily pay whatever just want it here in time or we won't be going away :-( have contacted mp aswell x

Catman123 Sat 24-May-14 18:09:09

Hank a lot mutton I we'll give it to Tuesday and if no joy do the same

ineedaholidaymummy Sat 24-May-14 18:49:53

Your friend was incredibly lucky then Mutton. My hubby waited outside and said they turning people away before they even got through security if they didn't have an appointment or were picking up. I wouldn't have wasted my time going up without one, and believe me I was desperate! Call the 0845 number, arrange an upgrade and they WILL sort you out

ineedaholidaymummy Sat 24-May-14 18:55:43

Seriously, don't waste time calling the 0300 number, call 08456015175 (Durham) and they will sort it out. Ignore the looped recording of "this number is only for customers in receipt of a letter....." Mine was sorted within two days of calling them

Alliex665 Sat 24-May-14 20:22:00

So glad I found this. Sent passport of 21st April using post office check and send and received a text on 28/4 saying they have received this and would contact should they need more info.

Heard nothing since and been trying to get through over a weeksad we fly in 2 weeks and no one is calling back. I know it will be tues now as Durham number says mon -fri 9-5 excluding holidays. It was a lost passport application. I am in Scotland but have no idea which office my passport could be in.

I've not had a text or email saying its processing does this mean its still not been looked at since received on 28/4?

MuttonCadet Sat 24-May-14 21:37:47

Lol I think your hubby wasn't keen on queuing.....wink

Retropear Sat 24-May-14 21:39:32

3 months!

We've got 4 passports in the system.I just can't afford fast track x 4- that's £400!!

We've already paid silly money just to get them renewed.

Arsing Tories.This just isn't good enough.Surely there is somebody we can take this to.

TheThinksYouCanThink Sat 24-May-14 21:51:38

Sorry, tired the 0845 number told me that the office was closed and I think the passport is in Peterborough not Durham.
On the plus side, Dh's was sent off at the same time and we got that back within 10 days. hmm

Alliex665 Sat 24-May-14 22:46:35

Does anyone know if Durham office will be open Monday?

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Sat 24-May-14 23:11:36

What a nightmare it is. The reason is that they have closed all the passport offices overseas and all overseas applications now have to go through the UK. They have had to take on a lot of new staff (though probably not enough hmm), and train them up, as overseas applications are often more problematic than UK ones. It's no excuse, though, and they should warn of the lead in time being at least 6 weeks on the website.

Retropear Sun 25-May-14 06:21:22

They've also apparently closed 2 offices here on top due to cuts so everything is being funnelled through 3.

We were sold those passport renewals under false pretences.On another thread somebody was saying bosses don't want the correct time it takes listed.confusedI suspect because it would have put thousands off booking holidays this spring.Utter crooks!

People don't want to renew passports a year in advance as you're not getting value for money on the extortionate price you pay for a 10 year one.

Why isn't this being reported in the media and why aren't the arsing Condems being held to account over this?We've saved for our holiday which our dc bloody deserve.

We've already paid a fortune for 4 passport renewals which annoyed us as it's like yet another bloody tax for something we're entitled to.We'll lose the cost of the holiday as we simply can't afford shed loads more money to fast track.

Why isn't the gov doing something about this? It's like a big cover up,there is nothing about this anywhere bar on MN,if there was we'd never have booked.Bet Dave and co will all be swanning off this summer problem free.angry

Rockinghorse123 Sun 25-May-14 06:35:59

I hadn't heard anything back after 4 weeks when I eventually got through to someone I found out that a letter had been sent to the school that my friend who countersigned my sons application worked at because she needed to verify her maiden name!

She hadn't received her letter and no one from passport office had contacted me so if I hadn't rang we still wouldn't know. Just a heads up incase anyone else is in the same situation.

ineedaholidaymummy Sun 25-May-14 07:12:17

No, my husband isn't a fan of queuing, not sure what that's got to do with whether they're letting people into Durham or not. He waited outside with the kids and saw people being turned away, I was inside maybe 15-20 minutes (it was a straightforward pickup) and can tell you the office was manic, the staff were rushed off their feet and people were getting told no if they didn't have an appointment. And when they didn't like it, they were escorted out.

Whether your friend managed to get one or not, many/most wouldn't be as lucky just turning up. On the other hand, nearly everyone has eventually had their passports by persistantly calling 0845 and contacting their MP

RetroPear, I feel your pain. I had three passports lost in Durham so it was £161.50 to get them done in time. Its gonna be a very frugal holiday now

Tiredemma Sun 25-May-14 07:35:31

Another sleepless night here. I seriously cannot cope with this.

Tiredemma Sun 25-May-14 07:37:28

And the kids yesterday saying 'this time next week we will be on the plane, this time next week we will be in the pool.....'

I work in the NHS- if we have anything promoted/displayed anywhere with a time frame (ie 3 weeks) then you can be sure that people expect us to meet this deadline.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 25-May-14 07:46:17

Retro - you can renew up to 9 months in advance and have the extra time added to the new passport so you don't lose money that way.

It is like this every year at this time, I think blaming the current government is a bit naive.

Retropear Sun 25-May-14 08:04:05

They've closed 2 offices and services in embassies with the cuts,there is a worker saying they can't cope and aren't being allowed to change the turn around time on the gov website which is still 3 weeks.

If not the gov who exactly is to blame?[ hmm]

And re the 9 months,say you needed to use your passport in that time for business or otherwise or didn't think you'd have the money for a holiday but then did?Most people would use their passport in Aug and to get cheap deals for the following year need to book by Feb/March .Most people want every month they can get out of a passport as they're so expensive.

We're paying for these offices in our taxes before we even pay the ludicrous renewal prices or even the fast track on top(which only the well off can afford)- for a basic right!

Retropear Sun 25-May-14 08:05:06

And I'm guessing the fast trackers push the waiting time up for those that can't afford it.

It's appalling.

Retropear Sun 25-May-14 08:10:17

And if it's like this every year why on earth aren't they doing something about it?My dp would lose his job if he did this to customers once let alone continuously.

jamtoast12 Sun 25-May-14 08:42:21

But you would get every month? If you renew 9 months early then your new passport will have 10 years 9 months on it so you don't loves at all in terms of time.

wundawoman Sun 25-May-14 08:46:15

My story: sent dd's UK passport renewal over 4 weeks ago (expected it would take 3 weeks). My dd has dual nationality and I had to send her other (Oz) passport as supporting document. She now needs to book unexpected trip to Oz and needs her Oz passport urgently....

Last week I called 0300 number. Firstly they had to speak with dd as she is now over 18. That's ok. I ask them about passport application; it's in Liverpool. I tell them we need her Oz passport back ASAP to book travel; they have to get someone to call me back in 48 hours. They call back 2 days later; I miss the call. hmm
They don't leave direct number so I have to call 0300 number and go through whole waiting and discussion again!!!!! I check on the online system for status and it says 'still processing'. Next day, new uk passport arrived in the post (yay!) but no sign of Oz passport! Phone call from passport office 2 hours later (on Saturday!); they did not even know that her uk passport had been sent!! Ask about Oz passport; it could take 2 weeks to be returned!!! Wtf???

So stressful.....confused

The passport office is aggravating the problem by stating 3 week turnaround when it is simply not true...

And the 0300 number is just causing more angst as they have no information on the progress of applications....I think it's a way of delaying complaints and forcing people to just suck it up and wait....regardless of any travel plans.

AnneEyhtMeyer Sun 25-May-14 08:46:43

You keep the 9 months on your new passport. So you get the full amount of time, you don't lose anything.

So you say you go on holiday in August - when you get back you renew, ready for the next time. I always renew our passports at the 9 month before expiry point, so we always have a valid passport. I renewed DD's in March and it took 2 weeks. Every year at this time the wait-time goes up, so it is much easier and less stressful to renew out of season.

Retropear Sun 25-May-14 09:13:32

We didn't know we could afford to go the following year after just getting back so didn't renew x4.

Not everybody can plan months in advance.

rgardner1985 Sun 25-May-14 09:15:15

I made an appointment at Durham on the 20th may as there was no appointments at London. I did the fast track guaranteed 7 days delivery. Been told yesterday I will not receive passport till Wednesday!!!! Never told me that on the phone when booking appointment. I travel Tuesday (2 days time)!!!!! Helpline not helping me at all. Any ideas????

rgardner1985 Sun 25-May-14 09:40:12

Does anybody know if I go durham passport office first thing tuesday morning will I be able to pick my passport up

jamtoast12 Sun 25-May-14 09:45:18

So it's a day late as tuesday is 27th but they don't inc the bank holiday? Think they have covered themselves as it says that on website.

I would expect you to be able to collect but I'd ring first

Alliex665 Sun 25-May-14 12:21:09

I kept calling And calling 0300 today despite leaving 2 numbers for callbacks (which still have not came) also requested call backs fr Durham twice which again no sign of them and finally got answered on 0300 and they even connected me to Durham ! Finally they have told me my passport is there but is awaiting examination . They've had it 4 weeks and I posted 5 weeks ago. They have no idea how long this stage takes so said to call back in a few days. I explained I can't due to work I don't get breaks so can't stop to call so she eventually agreed to email the upgrade team but stressed there is no guarantee they will agree as they don't often do this. They won't receive the email till tues and then I have to wait another 48 hours for call back which I'm not hopeful for sad I fly next Saturday and if they wait till thurs or fri and say no upgrade I'm screwed.

Can anyone advise on how they decide your eligible for upgrade or not?

Tiredemma Sun 25-May-14 17:11:59

Allie I phoned Durham myself and requested an upgrade. Im still waiting to see if it will happen- the man I spoke to (who was lovely) said I probably wouldnt get a call until Tues/weds

Tiredemma Mon 26-May-14 08:54:16

If anyone gets a call re upgrade today would you mind posting on here? I need DP's and DD's passports for Friday and when requesting an upgrade was advised I would get a call 'probably monday or tuesday'.

carloverswife Mon 26-May-14 09:36:44

I have had a phone call at 8.35 this morning. My sons passport is being printed at Durham today. We travel on Wednesday morning. My husband has just left to drive the 7 hour round trip to collect it.

So relieved!! The stress of waiting was awful!! Can get excited about our holiday again now!!

If you're travelling soon and have called Durham for an upgrade, then you just have to wait, (which is very hard I know!!) as they are working in order of departure date, I'm sure you'll get a call. They are obviously doing their best and working all weekend and bank holiday to get the passports made up in time.
Also I missed the call and she did leave a message with a call back number.

Tiredemma Mon 26-May-14 10:04:53

Hi carloverswife massively relieved for you. This gives me some hope as I thought we had been forgotten about! I will just have to sit it out over the next couple of days. Relieved for you. Enjoy your holiday.

hayleyg8216 Mon 26-May-14 10:27:00

Hi. I am also waiting on a call back. Missed a call on Saturday and was asked to call the 0845 number. However this number keeps telling me the office is closed. Called the 0300 this morning and they called through to the Durham office however they wouldn't speak to me because silly me forgot to write down the barcode number. Trip away is booked for Thursday and really wish they would call me back. Good to hear that some of you have had calls this morning.
Very frustrating. Has anyone got any other numbers they may be using to get through?

SimonBalaam Mon 26-May-14 10:28:13

Hello all. I have been watching this thread closely and after calling the Durham 0845 6015175 number on 2 occasions (waiting for an hour before an answer) we have been told you can only upgrade no earlier then 1 week before then the travel date.
Is this what everyone else is being told. We travel on the 7th July and want to upgrade asap as I don't want all this extra stress!
Our daughters renewal passport has been with them since the 9th May and still to be examined!
I just don't really know what else to do as if anything is wrong with the application what happens as we are basically 300 miles away from Durham and surely need to get anything sorted quickly!

livi2014 Mon 26-May-14 11:37:03

i also travel on the 7th (early hours of the morning though) I was told by the lady at Durham they may not call me for any payment for an upgrade until the week we leave meaning iv got to stress about it until then sad. The passport hasnt been examined yet so could even have problems with it. Im calling Durham tomorrow to make sure they are still upgrading me

dazcheff Mon 26-May-14 12:02:34

Got the call from Durham just now Passport in for print!. Travel early Wednesday so have to drive 6hrs each way to collect tomorrow. But just relieved to be getting it and able to go on holiday.

SimonBalaam Mon 26-May-14 12:06:22

Glad you got a call. I thought id try the 0845 number as people are saying they are getting call today but I'm just getting the office is closed message!
Best I call tomorrow then!

keltice Mon 26-May-14 13:06:45

Went to Durham on Saturday and paid for fast track for my daughters passport which had expired. Travelling tomorrow morning so know I wont get it in time for that, but hoping to get it before end of week. Does anyone know how likely that will be? I asked while I was there if i could come back and collect Tuesday but was told no as childrens passports need to be posted. Have read some threads above and it would seem some people have collected a childs passport??? We live in Portsmouth so am worried that the courier will take longer to deliver down here. How long is a fast track service taking at the moment?? My poor daughter and husband are desperate to join me and the other ASAP. Any help would be great.

Sidogg Mon 26-May-14 14:02:30

Hi people. I am due to fly out wed morning and still not received my check and send passport renewal back! Trying to get in touch with Durham so I can pay extra and go to collect it. Since the 8th May it has been waiting to be examined! It is a straight renewal and doesn't even have a counter signatory that needs checking! Is anyone in the same position and do I have a chance of getting my passport in time if I pay extra? Any advice appreciated. It sounds like when I have spoke to them the closer you get to your hol the more likely you are to be helped as last week when I called up they said they couldn't help me at all and I wouldn't get my passport in time!

Miren Mon 26-May-14 14:18:49

We sent our renewal off 3 weeks ago. We fly tomorrow night.

We've been lucky enough to speak to the right people, it seems, and will be picking it up tomorrow. It's a 12hour (if we're lucky) round trip. Not an ideal way to start our holiday, but so relieved that we can still go. There's been a lot of tears.

keltice I don't think DHL would take too much longer for a different part of the country. My DS's passport was sent on Tuesday afternoon and arrived at my flat in Paris on Wednesday afternoon.

My aunt has been having passport trouble too and was offered the option of fast tracking her application this morning. She was told it would take five days. Her application is being processed at Liverpool and has been there four weeks so far.

Miren good luck for tomorrow and enjoy your holiday!

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 08:54:25

Has anyone had any luck? I got through at 8am to be told despite the fact I'm desperate and fly in the morning they cannot help me and it is almost certain I won't get my passport today. I wanted to drive up which I still might do and just gamble on them helping me when I get there! Anyone any advice? Can't believe for a straight renewal they can't get it from whichever box it is in and print it for me to collect! I'm fuming! Help!!!

jamtoast12 Tue 27-May-14 09:00:03

Did they say why they couldn't help?! Is it too short notice or something? Surely they have to give a reason

jamtoast12 Tue 27-May-14 09:02:54

Just seen the date 8th may in your previous post. Has it not been 3 weeks then since you sent it off? Having read on here and spoken on phone, I don't think they're not doing anything to help if you applied with under 3 weeks anyway as they say it takes 3 weeks to do in the first place and recommend another service if you need before then.

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 09:11:03

Hi. My official 3 week cut off point would be this Thurs 29th! But they aren't going to get it back to me by then anyway! I appreciate they don't really want to help unless it's past 3 weeks but for the sake of a day when I travel in the morning and they won't make the deadline anyway?! That's what doesn't make sense to me. It's a straight renewal with no counter signature on it! I am now awaiting a possible call at some point today but I got told by someone else in that office about 10 mins ago that it won't happen. There is a chance but probably not were her words. Gutted but I don't have any more options do I?????

jamtoast12 Tue 27-May-14 09:18:07

I see your point but they are very strict on the 3 weeks thing. I think the problem is people can get them back super quick (so people think theirs will be the same) but others take longer as they have to randomly check so many.

Where are you going? Can you drive up? Tbh though it took me a week to get a premium appointment so even if you could upgrade to one day and that was last month!

Good luck though I hope you get someone sympathetic.

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 09:27:09

Durham and yes I said to them I will drive up and they said security won't let me in unless I have an appointment. I am ringing Liverpool to see if I can pick my passport up to drive it there to get it printed!!! Unless they call me at some point, see if this way is an option but I doubt it...I don't have any other options! It really is a farce though when it's not a complicated renewal or first passport. It is still waiting to be examined despite being there since 8th May!!! Wow!!

TheThinksYouCanThink Tue 27-May-14 09:38:05

Thought I would update, we were supposed to fly today but DD's passport has not arrived and I have waited 11 days for a callback despite ringing 0300 everyday!
I have waited 7 weeks for her passport.
However, this is all a moot point now, as ds1 fell off a ladder on Sunday night and went to theatre yesterday for a manipulation so we cannot fly anyway.
This holiday obviously was not meant to happen!

Oh no TheThinks! I hope your DS gets better soon and DDs passport shows up soon. Will you be able to claim the cost of the holiday back from your insurer?

We are moving abroad on Sunday and after three months of waiting I was worried that DS's passport wouldn't arrive in time. Our relatives were planning to come to visit us here in Paris last weekend just in case. In the event, DS's passport appeared on Wednesday afternoon but my aunt's didn't arrive in time for her to fly on Saturday so we all booked last minute eurostar to see them. smile

Some plans just aren't meant to be! Aunt was offered to fast track her application yesterday, two days after she was supposed to travel.

Luceeb213 Tue 27-May-14 10:12:38

My little boys passport has been waiting to be examined since the 26th April! Still no luck, called every day for a week & half. Finally got a call back today, and I couldn't hear the lady sad so waiting again!!!! Travel on Monday. The stress is unbelievable. I received a call back last Wednesday from the passport office and they said it was to early to really do anything as there is more urgent cases! Hope I get somewhere today! So many of you have very positive outcomes, hope mines the same!!!! Been on hold 40 mins now..... Let's see how much longer I have to wait!!!

Tangoandcreditcards Tue 27-May-14 10:18:08

Similar position as many others. Don't travel until the 5th June but sent application on 24th April (DS first passport).

Stupidly wrote down the wrong barcode number (counter signatory made a mistake so copied all the details onto a new form but kept the number of the one I didn't send, so cross with myself, not like me at all).

Have called the 0300 helpline 40 times, eventually got a ring back on Wed and was referred for a 48hr call back from the actual passport office (helpline can't help without the barcode) last Weds, nothing so far.

I was going to try the numbers on here, but how do I know which one to try? Is it always Durham? (I'm in London).

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 10:21:47

Durham direct number is 0845 601 5175. They are not very helpful unless you are beyond the 3 week wait on a check and send. Unsure about any other applications. You can be on hold a while so be patient. Best time to call is bang on 8am and beat everyone else to it, that's when they start answering phones. See my posts above to see what they are like being helpful - not very!! Hope you have more luck then me. Ring your local MP that is the way forward...I am waiting on a call to see if they have any clout pushing them along at Durham. Fingers crossed for everyone including me!

SimonBalaam Tue 27-May-14 10:25:33

We have got in contact with our local MP's team today. My wife has spoken to Durham today to request an upgrade but they were very non-committal, so not giving us any confidence sad

I'm hoping the combination of an MP and calling everyday to push the upgrade through will get it sorted but I'm struggling to keep positive at the moment.

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 10:28:28

SimonBalaam when are you due to travel? I am due to travel in early hours of tomorrow!! I am desperate now and literally sat by the phone praying as we speak!! Good luck I hope yours gets resolved.

hayleyg8216 Tue 27-May-14 10:30:12

Morning all. Finally got through to the 0845 number this morning. May be a chance of a possible upgrade. Just got to wait for a call. How long have you guys had to wait for a call regarding upgrades?

SimonBalaam Tue 27-May-14 10:38:24


We are no where near as desperate as you yet as we travel on the 7th June, but I'm a known worrier and hate not having things in place, but after the call to the Durham office this morning I am worrying even more even though we still have about 1 1/2 weeks to go!

I hope you get yours resolved asap. Do you live far from Durham?

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 10:45:03

Hayleyg I got told that at 8am this morning and they said even though they have put mine forward I will almost certainly not get it upgraded so I won't be able to go on hol! Get your local MP on it. They only start to help you after they haven't met their deadline from what I can gather and my experience dealing with them. I would start putting pressure on after this time and closer you are to travel.
SimonBalaam I see if I was you I would wait till next week now and then start calling and with your local MP on board I am sure something will happen for you. Good luck, I am still waiting on that phone call and I think it's going to be bad news but you never know!!!

Retropear Tue 27-May-14 11:03:18

Been in a queue for half an hour.

Out of interest do you pay for calls if in a queue?

SimonBalaam Tue 27-May-14 11:05:42


I am too impatient to wait!! My Wife hates me for it, but with all these last minute let downs its just making me want to chase even more!!

If you get the call have you got far to go?

I don't want to but if I have to I will be driving the 600 mile round trip to Durham

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 11:11:57

I am a 4 hour round trip which I wouldn't mind at all but I just need them to tell me they will print it and I'm ready to jump in the car!!! Aaaaagh I'm giving it till 12 then ringing my MP office to see if they have got anywhere with it. It's a joke this whole system but by the sounds of it Durham seem to be the only real problem office as there are hardly any complaints about the others!!

Retropear Tue 27-May-14 11:36:33

Hmmm sat there fir an hour waiting,then it cut us off!angry

TheThinksYouCanThink Tue 27-May-14 11:51:40

I take back the post about DD's passport not arriving the courier has just brought it...and if not for ds1 arm then it would have been a bit tight but we might have just made our flights!
Don't know if I should laugh or cry!

SteadyEddie Tue 27-May-14 11:58:32

I got through within 20 minutes to the 0300 number for Belfast.

Retropear Tue 27-May-14 12:13:28


Steady it's Durham.

We live in Devon, bring back Newport,never had this fiasco when we used them.

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 12:47:00

UNREALLLLLLLL!!!!! My local MP office said they would my actual local MP herself who would ring up to demand my passport get sorted out! Within 15 minutes Durham had called me to take payment and print this afternoon for me to collect before closing time! He didn't guarantee I would have it but almost guaranteed it and is calling me back within an hour to tell me to set off!! My advice is to call your local MP and to be honest the closer it has got to my holiday, the more progress thee has been. It's now just a fingers crossed situation that I get the green light to travel now! Keep the faith and remember get on to your MP.

SimonBalaam Tue 27-May-14 12:57:02

Does anyone know what time Durham closes?
The ironic thing is that my father in law is a same day courier and you guessed it! He has a job to Durham today!!
My wife has asked me to call to see if there is any chance they and get it through today and he could collect but he wont get there till 6.
I don't even think they would do it anyway.
Its just laughably ironic that we want something from the very town where our passport is stuck to where the my father in law is going!

SimonBalaam Tue 27-May-14 12:57:48

Thats great news Sidogg. Did you chase up your MP today?

Sidogg Tue 27-May-14 13:06:51

Yes chased and chased but got there. It has been amazing how quick it moved since my MP got involved!! I have just had a call to tell me it's gone to print and I'm just about to set off to Durham! Good luck everyone there is light at the end of the tunnel

Kazzadoll Tue 27-May-14 14:19:28

I would agree! Contact your mp and call the office holding your passport directly. There is no point calling the advice line, I have been given different information each time I called. On Thursday I found this forum and called the Liverpool office, I then contacted my mp. I rang Liverpool today to find my passport was printed on Sunday and is on the way so it can be done. Don't give up! Keep on at them!!

Tiredemma Tue 27-May-14 14:32:34

Had a call at 12 noon
LOVELY lady (probably my most favourite female in the world right now) phoned- said she had approved the applications for both DD and DP. Probably missed todays run for printing/sending out.
I could go to Durham to collect from tomorrow or have it sent by DX Delivery. It wont go to DX until tomorrow so should be here Thursday or Friday am at the latest- she also gave me DX number to contact to liaise with them

I could have had it sent next day delivery but wouldnt be in to sign for it and didnt want the added stress of having to go to the Royal Mail depot.

Im in my office at work and I actually cried with relief. I didnt sleep at all last night- I really felt that DD's birth certificate had been lost in the post and we wouldnt be able to travel.

I cannot fault Durham at all to be honest- It sounds like they are working under intense pressure and really up agaisnt the wall.
Way back at the beginning of the month (7th May) when I first got through to them on the 0845 number the fisrt man I spoke to said I 'probably wouldnt' get any upgrade call until 'around the 27th, so I have to say that they have been true to their word.

Very valuable lesson learnt here about being timely. I have been so stressed, snappy etc- all my own fault.

Thank you everyone on here who has offered advice and support. I hope those of you still waiting also get a call.

blondi442 Tue 27-May-14 15:11:26

I am in the same situation, my OH sent his 1st passport application on the 24th April it was received at the Durham office on 29th and has been sitting there ever since, we are due to fly on the 18th June. We have contacted the helpline every day for the last 3 weeks and are still none the wiser. He has been told so many different things its a joke. First person said its ready for printing the next said he needed an interview and to ring ABI which he did to be told without a unique reference number they couldn't book him in , then he was told passport would be here by 2nd June the latest is that it hasn't even been looked at. I am going out my mind with worry cant stop crying my kids renewals are also at Durham security checks completed and ready to be printed. We have now resorted to going to our local MP for help and all we can do is hope this moves it along for us, but I hold out little hope that it will be here by 18th June and have settled to the fact I will be going without him :-( he is currently on the phone to them again after telling them he will phone every single day if he has to. Iv also emailed the chief executive to complain about all the lies we have been told about his application.

Retropear Tue 27-May-14 17:07:31

Anybody know what time the lines close?

3 have turned up,it appears one of my ds's is missing.No explanation or reason.All were filled out the same with the same company doing the photos.confused

One good thing,if we have to fast track it will only be for one.Can it be sent to you if fast tracked?

jamtoast12 Tue 27-May-14 17:10:50

The passport lady who did my fast track said you don't need to sign for passports as houses are classed as secure addresses for delivery purposes. All of our passports have been delivered via the front door.

Tiredemma Tue 27-May-14 18:57:00

Had a call at 12 noon
LOVELY lady (probably my most favourite female in the world right now) phoned- said she had approved the applications for both DD and DP. Probably missed todays run for printing/sending out.
I could go to Durham to collect from tomorrow or have it sent by DX Delivery. It wont go to DX until tomorrow so should be here Thursday or Friday am at the latest- she also gave me DX number to contact to liaise with them

I could have had it sent next day delivery but wouldnt be in to sign for it and didnt want the added stress of having to go to the Royal Mail depot.

Im in my office at work and I actually cried with relief. I didnt sleep at all last night- I really felt that DD's birth certificate had been lost in the post and we wouldnt be able to travel.

I cannot fault Durham at all to be honest- It sounds like they are working under intense pressure and really up agaisnt the wall.
Way back at the beginning of the month (7th May) when I first got through to them on the 0845 number the fisrt man I spoke to said I 'probably wouldnt' get any upgrade call until 'around the 27th, so I have to say that they have been true to their word.

Very valuable lesson learnt here about being timely. I have been so stressed, snappy etc- all my own fault.

Thank you everyone on here who has offered advice and support. I hope those of you still waiting also get a call.

Tiredemma Tue 27-May-14 18:57:22

sorry!!! didnt mean to do that!!

flinns Tue 27-May-14 20:27:45

First Mumsnet post but for the record here is my experience of tracking passport progress today:

We applied for first time passports for our daughters 3 weeks ago today using the Post Office check and send. We're hoping to go away this Saturday so it was very late I know (no excuses here although I have quite a list!).

After being quite confident that they'd arrive, this weekend I lost my nerve and started trying to find out their progress.

The online checker at didn't produce any results. The 0300 number were pretty useless and various calls give you various answers - no confidence in them whatsoever. I did however find out that the passports were being processed in Durham and were not yet sent for printing.

The 0845 number (thanks Daryl123) rang for an hour this lunchtime until my phone went dead. I tried again at 5pm and it rang for 45 minutes then someone picked up! She was lovely and very helpful. Their office is open until 8pm. On Thursday they will pull the two applications from the normal queue, check them, then call me for payment. I will have to pay £60 each for this but they will be able to send them with a guaranteed courier on Thursday for arrival Friday, or I can pick them up in person. This service is prioritised according to day of travel therefore if I were leaving sooner they would get onto it sooner. Luckily I mentioned that we are leaving at 6am Saturday morning so they are planning to get them to me for Friday.

To cut a long story short. Call 0845 6015175, have a full phone battery, wait on hold for an hour or so, and Bob's your uncle. One stressed and tearful wife now crying with joy!

Let's hope our passports do come as promised, and wish us luck driving to France with newborn twins and a 2 year old!!

blondi442 Tue 27-May-14 21:06:44

Why is it you cant fast track adult first passports but can childrens , I thought it was no fast Track on any first time passports ? Does anyone know ?

jamtoast12 Tue 27-May-14 21:26:41

You can't fast track first adults as they have loads of identity background checks to do. With children's, you have to name the parents and their passport numbers so likely they are satisfied with the parents clearance. On the website it says under first children's passports that it can take longer if info is missing or they need extra details, I'm guessing if parents had never had a passport, that they'd take longer and ask for more info.

keltice Tue 27-May-14 22:09:25

thanks for the reply alteredimages, fingers crossed!

ukinusa Wed 28-May-14 00:06:48

I'm glad that so many of you are actually getting your passports but I have no idea if that will help us. We live in America and I applied for my kids passports ages ago.
They were received at Durham passport office on March 13th. On April 11th the application case was opened, May 22nd was 6 weeks later (the length of time you are told it takes) and we have booked travel on June 7th.
I have called the main number several times and they have sent emails to the Durham office asking them to contact me as the real stress is that the supporting documents I sent in included my sons American passports, their birth certificates, ours and also our marriage certificate. This means that even if I dont get the British passports we cant travel as they have their other passports, I also cant do emergency US passports as I havent the supporting documents to apply with. ITS CRAZY... I allowed over 3 months to do this and its still gone wrong.
I sent a letter by fedex last week asking them to send the supporting documents back asap, I have also emailed them and today was on the phone from America for 40mins x 2 waiting to get through on the direct number. I have no idea what my phone bill will be like!! I feel at a loss as I cant even call as suggested at 8am as its the middle of the night for us.

Its my nana's 100th birthday on the 13th of June which is why were are coming back, The kids havent been over for 2 years and we have no family here so its a really big deal for all of us.

If anyone has ANY ideas at all of what we could do which I havent already I would love to know. I was told today that the UK passports are in line to be printed but no-one can tell me how long that will take. At this stage I just want their American ones back so we can at least still travel but Im worried that I might have been BS'ed about the stage the process is at... I am out of ideas as to what I can do now.

kerry0 Wed 28-May-14 07:42:44

Hi ukinusa what a horrible situation the only advice I have for u is to call 0845 601 5175 this is for durham passport office they are usually much more helpful than 0300 number, good luck!

Llareggub Wed 28-May-14 07:49:58

The passport office lost my supporting documents and claim never to have received them, despite getting and confirming they had 3/4 of them. Unfortunately it my passport that they deny getting and so I cannot now travel.

Not one of the people I spoke to an the passport office told me this until I had a courier at Liverpool, had paid £200 for him to take it to Bristol. Only then did they say "actually, we don't have it"

They are awful.

Minikiki Wed 28-May-14 08:45:16

This is my wife's account and I've always been sceptical of these forums, but I have to say thank you to those who have posted advice above.
It remains to be seen whether we will actually receive our baby sons passport in time, but......having genuinely wasted 6 days of my life calling that pointless 0300 number (please please don't bother), I have followed the advice above on 0845 Durham office number, yes it opens 8am, and actually spoken to a real person who could formulate complete sentences (not the case on 0300 line).
She appeared totally genuine, very helpful, off to retrieve application from an enormous pile, upgrade (60.50) should happen assuming checks are ok, yes it might still be in travel date due volume (travelling Tue 3rd).
To fellow sceptics out there, don't give up, don't call 0300, follow the invaluable advice given and it might save your family holiday.
I don't know if this will result in a passport but it's a damn site better than ringing the 0300 number to speak to uninformed call centre workers.
Thank you

Ukinusa have you tried contacting your senator? A call from a US official might put the wind up them esp if they've had your us passport for 3 months.

jamtoast12 Wed 28-May-14 09:45:29

Just spoke to sil, she sent her ds renewal off with post office check and send two weeks ago exactly and has just had text saying it's been printed and out for delivery so only 2 weeks so far. That was liverpool so looking like there's no back log as such there.

Tiredemma Wed 28-May-14 09:49:24

I spoke to a colleague yesterday at work who got hers back in 12 days. That also went to liverpool.

Minikiki Wed 28-May-14 09:52:08

They told me directly the problem is only really Durham. Though you have precisely zero influence over which office your application goes to, it's random. Except too many go to Durham obviously......

jamtoast12 Wed 28-May-14 09:56:52

I think it depends where you live as we live in lancs and all of ours always go to liverpool and always have done. Someone earlier said Durham takes a greater percentage so I expect anyone not local to a particular office goes there maybe?

jamtoast12 Wed 28-May-14 09:58:59

Was that recently tired? I'm worried about friends of ours whose kids first applications went to liverpool. They allowed five weeks so hopefully be okay. The PO said they were not allowed to fast track (they tried to) as for emergencies only so they'd better be on time for our holiday in four weeks!

ukinusa Wed 28-May-14 12:10:41

I got up at 3:30am this morning to cal the Durham office and was told that no-one has even started looking at the 2 applications in any detail let alone them being ready for printing!!!
The guy promised he would get someone from the international department to call me... they havent yet but it is only 7am here so fingers crossed.
This whole thing is a S**t Show!

Tangoandcreditcards Wed 28-May-14 12:15:11

Finally got through to Durham on the 0845 number as 0300 were unable to help (they couldn't even find my application on 6 separate calls, which Durham did no problems). After 5 weeks DS's passport still "awaiting examination". Have requested an upgrade as travel early next Thurs - they can do it but not until early next week as they prioritise them on date of travel so we've got to go down to the wire and pay an extra £60 into the bargain.

I'm really really cross. Why say it takes 3 weeks if after 6 weeks it's not even been looked at? Why have an advice line that can't advise? It seems like there is a lot of cost cutting at the same time enabling them to charge a premium for urgent turnaround to desperate folks. They must be raking it in getting double for every passport because people don't allow enough time on their official advice

KirstyWhite94 Wed 28-May-14 12:45:06

Just got off the phone from a callback from the Durham Office (0845 number) after a painful morning!

Applied for an adult renewal on 6th May, going away 4th June. Had no text message to say it was recieved and emailed the enquiry line on 15th May and was told it was recieved on the 8th May and that it is currently in the examination process and ETA is 3 weeks. Waited 3 long weeks and phoned the 0300 number this morning only to be told that the application is still being examined and will not be with me until 7th June and when I asked are there any options for me to fast track he said 'unfortunately note, however we will call you back in 48hrs with an update'. I wasn't prepared to go any more sleepless nights and decided to call the 0845 number, was only on hold for 15minutes! And Rachel was very helpful! Understood my stress and said she will walk to up the stairs to the upgrade room where it will be a £55 charge and any extras regarding delivery will be dealt with by the courier. Got a call back 10 minutes later expecting it to be for the payment but was told that actually my passport had been printed and that there is no need to upgrade as it will be sent out for delivery tomorrow!

I'd give them a call and wait through the painful messages to find out where your application actually is! As I could have paid an extra £55 for nothing or even worse driven up to Durham!

Tiredemma Wed 28-May-14 12:52:19

Just got back in from taking Ds2 out and both passports are here. 24 hours exactly from taking payment yesterday.

Thank goodness smile

Amyharris1982 Wed 28-May-14 14:26:14

Hi ALl,

I just thought I would share with you my story so far. We are travelling to the Dominican Republic on 7th June for a wedding and Thomas Cook advised us 4 weeks ago that we needed 6 months on our passports. I had already sent off my husbands passport as it was due to expire. It came back within 3 weeks not even through the check and send. I then realise that my daughters ran out in September so I didn't want to risk it so sent it off through the post office check and send. It was received by the passport office on the 8th so I thought it would come back in plenty of time. Yesterday I suddenly realised that I had not heard any more from them so decided to phone the 0300 number as it had been 3 weeks. They obviously were no help at all so I contacted Durham direct who then told me that the passport had not even been checked! I asked then if it could be fast tracked but they said that they could not let me know until next week! Obviously I could not risk the fact that it would not be back in time so asked if I could have the old one back and risk that it would be ok. There response was that it could still take the same amount of time so to stick with that it should be fast tracked. I then decided to contact my local Mp to see what they could do.
Today I decided to call the Durham office again and see if anything had changed but again they could not give me any more information. I then contacted Thomas Cook to see the definite rules for travelling to the Dominican were. They said that I would be ok with the old passport, obviously I was a little bit mad with them as they stated in the first place that I send it off. Since then I have had a call from my local MP's office and they have been in contact with Durham. She called me back about 30 minuted ago and said that the passport is in for printing and that I should receive it by the weekend. We will wait and see if that happens but at least now I have got my MP on the case and they were told what is happening. If that fails then I will ask to pick up the old passport and hopefully we will be going on holiday.

charlottie76 Wed 28-May-14 15:15:31

Hi, just wondering if anyone on here did a renewal throughout the site and sent it off to Belfast. It been nearly 3 weeks now, which I know is nothing compared to some on here. Was wondering how long it is currently taking.

Catman123 Wed 28-May-14 16:22:00

Hi all just got to say thank so much Durham just got passport do not phone the 0300 number they are shit we can go on holiday now yes yes yes

l222net Wed 28-May-14 18:59:44

Does anyone have an up to date number for Liverpool please? They called me back monday saying I could upgrade and that someone would then call me that afternoon or tuesday, still waiting! Tried calling a number I found online but seems to be going to the same place as the 0300 number so no help! A couple of numbers on this forum for them seem out of date as no longer in use.

MrsOnTheMove Wed 28-May-14 20:16:43

Have just come back from a 7hr round trip to the airport having dropped off DD2 with my mum so that she can go and stay with them abroad. Unfortunately DD1 hasn't gone despite 3 promised call backs to upgrade, Durham has failed to do so and after an email this morning to try and track online I have just received an identical email to the one I received over two weeks ago, "that DD1 passport is still going through the examination process" angry

It is a child renewal and was sent through check and send over 4 weeks ago. DH has taken 2 days off work to get through to Durham on the 0191 number and despite promised 48hr call back we are still waiting. sad

There is a possibility for DD to travel at the end of July but I daren't book the flights until I am holding her passport.

Good luck to you all

Catman123 Wed 28-May-14 22:10:57

Hi u can get Liverpool on 08456012058 good luck

l222net Wed 28-May-14 23:06:24

Thank you, i'll try that number tomorrow!

D7dde Thu 29-May-14 03:45:04

Hiya was just wondering if anyone could send me the durham passport office number after sending my lo passport off 6 weeks ago and bein told huge backlog we travel 8th June I'm fretting it won't come in time

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 29-May-14 04:01:15

Reading this with interest as we are in the same position as UkinUsa. Bizarrely we renewed DH's passport from the US via Durham in March and it came back to us within two weeks.

The fact we have to send everything to the UK really annoys me too as we have German friends here and they have been to the embassy in Washington, and within 48 hours had a German passport for their daughter born here. Meanwhile we are stranded in the US until someone at Durham pulls their finger out.

Catman123 Thu 29-May-14 06:44:35

0845 6015175 Durham phone them there are so much better then 0300 number we phone them Tuesday passport came yes day good luck

SimonBalaam Thu 29-May-14 08:59:47

This thread is such a roller coaster of emotions. Some people having success and some not.
Its killing me now as we chased up again yesterday and were told don't bother calling back till Tuesday now. I just have no idea what else to do!

Llareggub Thu 29-May-14 09:17:38

I had a phone call from someone from the passport office yesterday, in response to one of the 3 email requests for a phone call that had been placed on my behalf by the advice line.

Guess what? She knew NOTHING about my case, despite me having explained it at least six times to various people. I once again explained was was quite infuriated to be told that she couldn't access any systems, resolve anything blah blah blah. Anyway, she told me she would send an email to someone who could and someone would ring within 48 hours.

You couldn't make this shit up. I am starting to think the whole passport service is trolling the UK.

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 09:47:36

I've just registered on mums net specifically so I can add to this thread. I sent DD's passport by check and send at the PO on 29th April. I was told in the PO that it would take 7 - 10 days!! To date, I've received nothing from the passport office despite chasing and chasing. I'd been keeping an eye on this thread and just spoke to Durham who told me that our application has still not been examined but that they would push it through for examination ASAP as we are due to travel on June 7th. The chap I spoke to (who was very helpful) said that I won't hear back from them until the middle of next week at the earliest and that today they are working on passports for people who are travelling this weekend coming. This whole system is a complete joke, why advertise a 3 week turnaround if you can't stick to it. I am so stressed about this, I don't think I've ever been so stressed about anything in my life. I bitterly regret not sending the application off as soon as my daughters birth certificate was in my hand but I genuinely thought that 6 weeks was plenty of time and I'd have had it back weeks ago.

blondi442 Thu 29-May-14 10:05:49

I have just spoken to a very rude lady at Durham , after being told on Monday that my kids renewals had past through security and were near on ready to print and would be with me by today, told this morning they have NOT even been checked yet and they basically will not hurry anything along for me until I have 1 week till my travel date which is 18th June because in their eyes I still have just under 3 weeks to go and that's plenty of time for them to come. So I have to basically sweat my nuts off till a week before then they will gladly take my £160 and get them to me in the week. I think personally they plan that all along to sit and do nothing with application cos they know full well your gonna pay anything to get them at the last minute. But then as the lovely lady told me this morning it was my choice to book a holiday.

cbrunton Thu 29-May-14 10:26:28

So we all didn't have to worry so much about getting it so late in advance - we should just move the date of travel forward a few days i.e so instead of saying we are travelling on the 14th June maybe so travelling on the 7th. If they ask why just tell a wee porky. Extremely unfair on other people but if it stops us worrying.. why not..

amarasnow Thu 29-May-14 10:27:38

Hi am new no mumsnet but been following this thread frantically but theres light at the end of the tunnel. I sent 2 renewals and one child first via check and send on the 8th may recieved txt 14th may to say recieved and just a txt this morning to say in print yay smile so three weeks from applying for ours , no calls or emails. We fly on the 10th june smile . I hope u all waiting have some luck soon x

blondi442 Thu 29-May-14 10:37:13

@cbrunton was thinking exactly the same , @amarasnow count yourself very lucky cos one of mine has been with them 5 weeks and one 3 weeks and neither been looked at yet and all very straight forward applications with plenty of documents and info

LlamaLover Thu 29-May-14 10:51:03

Can anyone tell me how you know which passport office has your application?

I applied online and sent the signed form and supporting documents off, just not sure where to!

BeauticianNotMagician81 Thu 29-May-14 11:03:35

Aargh I'm a dummy. We get married abroad soon and travel on the 10th June. Didn't even think about the baby's passport I forgot in all the wedding planning. I sent it off 28th April still didn't worry as I got the two older boys and mine and DPs last year and it only took two weeks. I've called the 0300 number once and was told it was in the print que. According to the guy on the phone I should get it by tomorrow. I'm worried though so I'm currently trying to get through to the Durham number hmm

BeauticianNotMagician81 Thu 29-May-14 11:41:55

Just got off the phone. My sons passport isn't in the print que like I was told its still waiting to be examined. So they've now pulled it out the que and referred it to the upgrades team. I've now got to wait for a call an he said it could take up to a week. I want to cry I can't go without my baby and we have booked our wedding.

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 11:42:08

I'm starting to wonder how they prioritise the applications. Beautician, I sent mine 1 day after yours and yet yours has gone to print and mine hasn't even been looked still yet. Do you know if yours was dealt with by the Durham office as the other offices don't seem to have the same lengthy wait.

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 11:43:58

Sorry just seen your subsequent post, we are in the same situation. Other people further up the post have been saying to get in touch with your local mp and given that this is your wedding I'm sure that it'll be treated really urgently if you do.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 29-May-14 12:24:13

I feel a Mumsnet campaign coming on. They are really not fit for purpose and seem very happy, as PPs have said, to take cash for upgrade services that people resort to in desperation. Anyone fancy involving the press? Or a Twitter campaign?

BeauticianNotMagician81 Thu 29-May-14 13:54:33

What annoys me the most is that whether its been left late or not the message on their phone service still stays that passports will take 3 weeks via post office check and send. I'm now on week 5 as of tomorrow. I got my date wrong it was the 25th April I sent mine and I got the text on the 28th saying it was received

cbrunton Thu 29-May-14 13:59:35

That's what screwed me and resulted in a mad dash last week in an attempt to get my passport. My house has been inundated with call backs which are about 9 days late.

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 14:10:19

I didn't even get a text so if I hadn't chased them after 2 weeks I still wouldn't know that they'd received it.the whole system seems to be shambolic, why are people who sent theirs on 4th may now in receipt of their passports but others who sent them as far back as 25th April still waiting on theirs?

gemmalcg Thu 29-May-14 14:33:58

Hi im also at my witts end. i sent off for my passport on the 12th may, they recieved it on the 14th may. i zm suppose to go away on sunday (3days time) and my passport still hasnt been examined!!! after calling them up so many times they are just very unhelpful ive even said its an emergency im attending family funeral and they said they need to see proof of this by funeral director in the country im going too, if i provide that then they will send it out in 24 hours. Now if this is possible to do why cant they just do it anyway, why does there have to be a grusome emergency. The emergency is that im going to loose out of lots and lots of money and they dont give a shit !!! need some help. i am willing to travel to Durham office but dont want a wasted journey for them to turn me down for not having an appointment!??

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 14:39:14

Gemmalcg, have you been speaking with the Durham office or just the 0300 helpline?

gemmalcg Thu 29-May-14 14:41:30

The Durham office 0845 number

Aidycake34 Thu 29-May-14 14:45:15

When I spoke to them this morning they said that they were looking at passports today for people who are travelling this weekend so maybe yours is being looked at today. Sorry, can't be anymore help.

JammyGeorge Thu 29-May-14 14:48:23

It is a total nightmare, 4 weeks they've had my little boys and not even looked at it and "won't anytime soon" I was told.

I sat on hold the other day and a recorded message played into my ear over and over for 30 mins - " if your travel date is over 3 weeks away please use the post office check and send, this has a 3 week turnaround" !!!!

I am not happy

Teacherblondie Thu 29-May-14 16:07:02

Here's my story. Applied for DDs passport on the 17th April. Got a text to say they received it on April 24th. We fly on Wednesday 4th June early morning. Called Durham 2 weeks ago to request an upgrade, they said the upgrade team would call me back. I received a call on Sunday from a lady at Durham to say I wouldn't need to upgrade as my passport would be delivered on the Wednesday we travel, I explained this was no good as we travel early so she said I would need to pay the £60.50 to upgrade and again I would need to wait for a member of the team to call. I phoned again (Durham 0845) yesterday to check on the progress the gentleman said it had been sent to print so I haven't had to pay the upgrade fee and it has just been delivered now.... Phew I can finally get excited now! Good luck to everyone.

Catman123 Thu 29-May-14 17:48:19

That good teacher we was the same phone Tuesday 0845 Durham and got passport yes day we leave sat so all you people out they who r traveling with 4 days Durham we'll sort it just phone them not the 0300 number there don't give a shit

Jasminxxx Thu 29-May-14 20:19:12


I applied for my daughters first passport end of April- online. Date of travel 07/06. I have had an absolute nightmare! And these threads have been a god sent so wanted to warn every one else

After ringing every day and pulling my hair out thinking I'm not gunna get the passport it time, putting numerous complaints in. The 0300 is a joke! You get told bullshit- different bull shit on every call. It's terrible treatment.

Do not waste ur time ringing 0300 number. I rang the 0845 durham number- 0845 601 5175. This number will ring and ring and ring but trust me someone will pick. Spoke to a lovely lovely woman who couldn't help as my daughters passport was at Peterborough. She kindly put me through to a lovely young lad at Peterborough who pulled my application out lastnight and sent it straight for examination. A lovely woman ring me this morning- I paid for fast track and it was printed this afternoon and out for courier tomorrow. Please- ring every day and someone will be able to help. I can't believe the service I have recieved had been for the same company- Peterborough and durham can't help u enough and the call centre 0300 one is a joke!

Anyone feel free to reply for any more advice. I have been at my wits end.
Good luck xxx

Jasminxxx Thu 29-May-14 20:20:21


amarasnow Thu 29-May-14 21:10:18

Hi am new no mumsnet but been following this thread frantically but theres light at the end of the tunnel. I sent 2 renewals and one child first via check and send on the 8th may recieved txt 14th may to say recieved and just a txt this morning to say in print yay smile so three weeks from applying for ours , no calls or emails. We fly on the 10th june smile . I hope u all waiting have some luck soon x

BeauticianNotMagician81 Thu 29-May-14 21:14:57

Jasminxxx I got told by someone at the Durham office today that he will pass my case to the upgrade team and that they will contact me at the latest next Thursday. Do I wait for that contact or call back in the mean time. I'm panicking as I can't cancel the wedding now and we are supposed to enter our details online including all passport number to board the flight which I obviously can't do for the baby sad

Tiredemma Fri 30-May-14 07:59:56

beautician I would contact again after the weekend. I requested an upgrade exactly 3 weeks after the passports had been 'in the system'. That was on the 19th May. I had to send in supporting documents the next day (20th) and had phoned them again to confirm a few things.
I then phoned again on Thursday 22nd and fri 23rd to see if my documents had arrived. I found out on Tuesday 27th that my upgrade request was only initiated by whoever I spoke to following the friday call.

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 10:04:10

Something positive for you - I sent my renewal via check and send. It arrived at the passport office on 16th May and I've just had a text to say it's being printed. So, well within their 3 week time frame. I wonder why some renewals go through quickly and others are a nightmare?

What I don't know is whether that applies for both DSs and my renewal or just one.

Aidycake34 Fri 30-May-14 10:24:14

I really think it depends on which office your application goes to. Durham seem to be particularly busy!

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 10:27:09

I have no idea where mine went. I'll see if there are any clues when it (or hopefully they!!) arrive.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Fri 30-May-14 11:13:30

Mines at Durham and its ds3 first passport. It's definitely in the upgrades que. They said i should get it the day before travel. I'm supposed to check in online the week before. I won't sleep or rest until that passport is in my hand x

Aidycake34 Fri 30-May-14 12:46:44

Out of pure desperation I just called them again. I was told that it's not in the upgrades queue yet and that If I haven't heard from them by Wednesday to call back. I'm pretty sure I won't have heard from them by Wednesday! I am beyond frustrated, I can't relax because I'm thinking about it so much. I am thinking of getting my mp involved as others have done but I'm afraid if I do it'll piss them off and they won't bother processing my passport at all.

Mandymoo87 Fri 30-May-14 14:36:03

We also fly on the 10th of June and have been told to expect a call next Friday to upgrade it's ridiculous! X

chemenger Fri 30-May-14 16:18:00

Daughter's first adult passport applied for online exactly three weeks ago, just got the text to say it is being printed. No idea which office it is in. The online system is very easy to use, I would really recommend it.

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 16:35:16

If Durham is snowed under but other offices are getting passports out within the specified time, why are the applications not spread out more evenly?

salpipjack Fri 30-May-14 17:02:47

Yesterday I was told that it is unlikely that I will be receiving mine before I travel next Friday. I cried as they've had it 3 weeks today, I've messaged & called non stop for 2 weeks to only be fobbed off by the 0300 number & still waiting for that 48 hour call back that never happens. I got my mp involved yet no luck. How do you tell 3 children they won't be going to Disneyland.

salpipjack Fri 30-May-14 17:12:43

Any happy endings as need a spark of hope

Aidycake34 Fri 30-May-14 17:25:04

Owlcapone I was thinking the exact same thing. That is what would happen where I work as delays of this type would just not be accepted. I could also do with some happy ending stories as I'm really despairing.

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 17:28:21

I think we all need to remember that, as important as our holidays are, it is also important for the passport office to complete their security checks. After all, we would not want anyone stealing your identity, or procuring a passport to exploit the benefits system/NHS, commit criminal activity or worse, assist in terrorism.
Clearly, the advice given by the passport office, and the post office is misleading, and really needs to be changed. But, if we were applying for a US passport, we would wait in the region of 6 months.

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 17:31:50

salpip.... try telling them " mummy was a silly billy and ignored the passport offices' advice and booked a holiday without a passport"

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 17:46:17


Sophiejake13 Fri 30-May-14 17:48:39

Iv been watching this thread all day today, after sending off my little boys first passport application on the 5th of May, I herd nothing back no text message so I chased it up all this week once it hit the 3week mark, was trying the 0300 number and they wasn't telling me anything because I didn't have the reference number and I done special delivery, so Iv been worried sick all week as I'm flying on the 19th June for my sons 3rd birthday with family, so I called the 0845 number was on hold for about 30mins and finally I got some answers my sons passport hasn't even been processed it's still in holding so I told a little white lie and said I was travelling on the 14th of June, to hurry things on! So Iv been told to call the 0845 number back on Wednesday to pay a extra £60.50 to get the week service! So fingers crossed it arrives! The sickness feeling is starting to fade finally!!

Ceets Fri 30-May-14 18:06:12

Straightforward, a US passport takes four to six weeks, not six months applied for my son's from the UK and had it in two weeks. His UK passport actually took longer to process at just over three weeks. I applied for both in April. Both were his first.

AphraBane Fri 30-May-14 18:24:53

"I think we all need to remember that, as important as our holidays are, it is also important for the passport office to complete their security checks."

No straight, that kind of excuse just won't do at all. Of course security is paramount, nobody would ever question that, but it's unacceptable to try to claim delays are in the name of 'security' when actually they are caused by clear incompetence at a management level and a lack of investment in a very expensive service.

UK passports are much more expensive than many other countries, and yet such countries manage to offer an efficient and well-ordered passport service. And please don't try to diminish people's reasons for needing a passport solely as 'holidays' - many passports are necessary for work travel or important family events such as funerals. I live abroad and need my passport as a form of ID, living in a country where most people carry round a simple ID card (and it's an ID card which allows people to travel around Europe, which means fewer people actually apply for a full passport in the first place). My DC are dual nationality and we stopped renewing their UK passports some years back precisely because it was such a royal pain in the arse.

The UK passport system is a hit-and-miss screw-up right now, particularly Durham it seems. I've no idea why people are not making more fuss about something they've paid so much money for. Has anyone ever tried suing them for the costs of missing travel deadlines? (NB, I'm totally against a culture of suing generally when there are better ways of sorting grievances, but in this case a bit of negative publicity from legal action might actually motivate the government to get Durham sorted out).

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 18:26:20

well done Sophe... your "white lie" has bumped you along the queue, in front of others, making their wait longer. Still, at least you get your holiday eh!

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 18:29:47

Aphra ... I am possibly better placed than you to know about passport office processes.

Someone who has ignored official advice and booked travel wouldnt have a leg to stand on legally

Catman123 Fri 30-May-14 18:32:27

Hi all I no how you fell we was the same just tel a little white lie say u are going on holiday sooner trust me the Durham office we'll do it we go tom we phone up Tuesday got passport Wednesday they are working by leaving date and if your passport as been there more then 3weeks then u should not have to pay the upgrade

Aidycake34 Fri 30-May-14 18:34:42

Straightforward, do you work for the passport office?

Sophiejake13 Fri 30-May-14 18:52:04

Straightforward... I couldn't think of anything worse telling my 3year old he can't go on holiday with all his friends and family because the passport office couldn't keep to there word and keep a deadline. Clearly your a awful person seeing there little faces when you break the horrible news! .. Nasty ness is so ugly.

Catman123 Fri 30-May-14 19:00:43

No I don't work for office but last Friday I got the number for Durham office the 0845 it was to late to phone and all tho there work all over weekend and Monday the phone line said close so I did not sleep for 4 days worry as we got wedding to go to so phone them up 1st thing Tuesday it took about 20min to get someone we told the man we go on holiday today so needed pp bk by yes day here say some one will phone u bk with in 24 hours but 3 hours later got the call it going in for prints be with u by Friday we say yes yes yes got it next day ps did not have to pay upgrade as been with them for 3weeks but I do think that down to the person u speak to if they charge u but pay it if there do

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 19:18:04

sophie .... you need to accept responsibility for the predicament you have put yourself in. You decided that booking a holiday without a passport would be fine. You were wrong. Its a horrible situation which I would certainly not wish on any little person .... but it was your choice.

Catman123 Fri 30-May-14 19:22:11

Straightforwarda your a nob love caatman

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 19:49:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Straightforward, why do you see it as your mission to make the live of oeople who are already feeling miserable even worse?

hancon958 Fri 30-May-14 20:13:11

Salpipjack...... have you tried the direct number for Durham
0845 601 5175? Ignore the loop telling you that you should only call the number if you have a letter from them. Someone will answer but it could take 20 to 30 minutes depending how busy it is. Stick with it I found them very helpful. Don't bother with the 0300 number it's a waste of time I don't think they are up to date. I have been in contact with them since Monday 27th and I got our passports today. Good Luck.

salpipjack Fri 30-May-14 20:56:41

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

hancon958 Fri 30-May-14 21:33:07

Salpipjack. I was told that I had to wait for a call back to upgrade but it wouldn't be until the middle of next week. Our travel date being the 9th of June. I didn't expect to get a text this morning saying that they had been printed and were on their way. They were here late afternoon! I hope this gives you your spark of hope.

Catman123 Fri 30-May-14 22:03:23

Salpipjack u we'll get it if your not going to next Friday then there won't phone u bk to Monday Tuesday if there ain't phone u by then then call them bk but try not to worry over the weekend it we'll all be fine

Susyb30 Fri 30-May-14 22:36:11

Im feeling sick im so worried, we sent our ds' s first passport application thro check and send on Friday 9th may and for some reason they didn't receive it till the following thus (15th) . After lots of calls to the 0300 number (waste of time) all we'v been told is it went to examination stage on 20th and its in Belfast. Iv asked for an upgrade to fast track so as I can't contact Belfast directly they have emailed them and im waiting for them to contact me, supposedly within 48hrs..ha that will be a miracle. We are supposed to be flying on sat 7th..and right now our dreams of a much needed hol are in pieces. I don't even want to imagine my sons face if we can't go..not to mention our money we have been scraping together to save for this. Don't know what to do..I really think we are going to lose everything :-(

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 22:58:59

so much mis-information and false hope Catman .... you have no basis to state that someone will or wont get their passport in time for travel. You dont know what checks are being undertaken, what work volumes are like within the office, and havent considered the fact that when the workload rockets, upgrades are sometimes suspended

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 23:00:07

Susy .... you need to persist with the helpline, and once the application is in examination, request a 2 hour callback from the examiner dealing with your application

SimonBalaam Fri 30-May-14 23:06:05

We think we have got some good news. My wife took a call saying the passport is to be printed today or tomorrow and was also given a number of the courier company for tracking. Later on we also got an email from our MPs office saying that they had also been contacted and that the passport has been processed. Just hoping it turns up now.

Catman123 Sat 31-May-14 08:26:36

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Sat 31-May-14 09:31:59

I've just emailed my local mp. I really hope I hear something soon. I daren't even start packing for my wedding in case it all gets cancelled. I wish I hadn't of listened to my stupid local post office telling me it takes 3 weeks and advising me to save money and not bother with fast track sad

Aidycake34 Sat 31-May-14 09:51:44

My post office said the same thing, they assured me I'd have it within 7 - 10 days. When I told my husband that he said I shouldn't have believed him as everyone knows he (the post master) talks sh!t. We'll I didn't know! Anyway, I sent an email to my mp yesterday afternoon too so fingers crossed he can help me.

Jellytots91 Sat 31-May-14 10:51:12

Hi, I cam across this thread trying to find the direc number for Durham Passport office, can anyone help me? I sent off for my little boy's first passport on 28th April, started panicing this week as we are flying on Monday (2nd June). Started ringing them Tuesday and haven't stopped since and have been told so many different things, some people I have spoke to on the helpline have been more helpful than others. I've been told I'll get a call back, that never happened, I've been told there's no way the passport will be ready my Monday :'( My mum got in touch with the local MP who got in touch with the passport office who said they'd pluck my son's application out from the queue and speed up the process so we could possibly pick it up today, obviously that's not happened. I rang them again yesterday and they said they had no record of an MP calling, they couldn't fast track his application as it's a child's first passport and I can't pay for a entire new application because I have to cancel the other one in writing and that takes a week! I spoke to someone else last night who said he was putting it down as a matter of urgency now and to ring back today, possibly I can go tomorrow to pick it up frm Durham. I am absolutely at the end of my tether now. I can't sleep, I feel sick, I can't stop crying. Has anyone got a direct number for Durham please? x

Mandymoo87 Sat 31-May-14 11:22:11

Jelly tots the number is 08456015175 hope everything works out for u :-) were waiting for ours still theyv had it weeks doesnt seem fair that everyone seems to be getting theres sorted and others don't :-( suppose it's who you speak to on the phone! I'm sure they will sort it for you :-) good luck xxx

Catman123 Sat 31-May-14 13:35:31

Hi the office we be close so no one we'll pick up the phone but there are working over the weekend mybe you should take a drive up there

Straightforwarda Sat 31-May-14 13:48:07

Catman... what is your first language, because it clearly isnt English?
Stop giving out duff information to people on here - you are NOT helping. The office is NOT open to the public, and nobody who simply turns up without an appointment will be seen.
Oh... and your pathetic insults would have more impact if you could actually spell!

MrsOnTheMove Sat 31-May-14 14:07:25

DD1 passport arrived this morning - she should have flown on Wednesday. So not great but we are fortunate that she can travel to see grandparents during summer holidays.

What I would like to say is that we have been waiting for a call back to upgrade for over 10 days (I have made 3 calls to the Durham direct number) but no call backs ever received.

I have also been tracking online, although it is a faff as you have to wait for them to email you back...

Yesterday they replied saying, 'it is still going through the examination process' clearly this was not the case as it arrived today. Don't believe the tracking info is up to date.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Sat 31-May-14 14:14:04

Mrsonthemove how long did it take for you to receive it from the day you sent it

Mandymoo87 Sat 31-May-14 14:35:27

Mrs on the move I'm in a panic now as were waiting for a call to upgrade, fly weds the 10th but early hours so need it by Tuesday, I'm in a panic really don't think we will be going on our holiday :-( are mp is involved but have still been told we can't upgrade till friday so if there's any mistakes on our passport theyv left it to late to be able to fix it :'( x

Catman123 Sat 31-May-14 14:45:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Retropear Sat 31-May-14 15:04:23

Got all of ours now.

Just to say the e-mails don't match reality ie ours said they were being looked at when in reality they had been printed.We got the being printed e- mails after they had arrived.confused

Oh and the line opens at 8.00 not 9.00 as it says on the website.We managed to get through very early in the morning.Trying pm is pointless.We were on hold for an hour then cut off!

Good luck everybody!

Retropear Sat 31-May-14 15:06:28

Also ours just made the 4 week time given even the separated one,apparently that sometimes happens(1 can come separately).

Aidycake34 Sat 31-May-14 15:07:58

I had a feeling that was the case. I don't suppose he told you why the backlog is so bad at Durham??

Aidycake34 Sat 31-May-14 15:16:22

Retropear, out of interest what is your date of travel? I was told that they are working on a strict date of travel basis but I'm not convinced that's the case. I travel on Saturday 7th. Thanks.

Retropear Sat 31-May-14 16:09:36

They never asked as when we finally got throughout they were on there way.

We had major problems with getting through and getting info.

Retropear Sat 31-May-14 16:12:32

They said they got the application on the 6th of May if that helps.Sure they should have received them slightly before that though.

MrsOnTheMove Sat 31-May-14 23:38:40

Sorry had problems logging in hmm

Passport took 23 days to arrive via check and send, that was the date from which the passport office Durham, (we live in South West) said they received it, which was about 5 days after the post office had it.

Initially on check and send it was refused as I had used a non biro black pen and the counter signature had put the incorrect date (day out by my signature as parent of DD - so looked suspicious apparently hmm)

Then when DH returned it to post office day later with all corrections they then said photo no good - apparently DD1 head too small angry - DH gambled and said send, today it arrived 23 days after Durham said they received it - no problems regarding photos.

I emailed the tracking online from 7 days as I had seen the threads - all replies suggested DD's passport was still going through the examination process.

A pleasant surprise and a relief when I found it on the doorstep this morning. I have been using the 0191 number for Durham which despite answering they have not honoured the 48 hr call back, enabling us to fast track, thus DD1 lost holiday to grandparents in Spain.

Hopefully if you have done check and send with at least 4 weeks notice you will be ok - if not do fast track from the start. DH needs a new passport this summer, we are not planning on going away but just in case we are going to do a fast track on Monday grin

MrsOnTheMove Sat 31-May-14 23:43:25

Should have said we were never asked for date of travel, so I do not believe that made a difference.

Actually the passport arrived after the date of travel so made no difference at all grin

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 01-Jun-14 04:31:58

Just wanted to say that it took 10 days to get my son's first US passport - he is dual national - and that was on the standard service. No idea where the six months quoted above comes from. It's surprisingly efficient compared with the UK passport office - STILL waiting for the British passport to come back...

Mandymoo87 Sun 01-Jun-14 09:30:31

Simon when do u fly?

SimonBalaam Sun 01-Jun-14 10:07:43

Early hours next Saturday.

Minikiki Sun 01-Jun-14 11:56:36

To give fellow Durham applicants some hope..
Our baby's application has been stuck there since Apr 27. We have followed all the advice given on this forum - ie. ignore 0300 number, get MP involved (very helpful), call 0845 Durham number given at exactly 8am to request Fasttrack Upgrade (you will get through eventually, they do answer). They repeatedly asked for date of travel (this Wed in our case) and true to their word rang us 8am today ( I guess there is some serious overtime going on) to tell us it will be posted Mon to be received by us Tue - ie. 1 day prior departure as they did promise when originally answering on 0845 number and agreeing to Upgrade.
Also of note is they don't actually charge you the upgrade fee if your application has been there over the allotted timeframe.
The advice on this site is, in our experience, spot on in this case so thank you to whoever guided us to the 0845 number.

brook001 Sun 01-Jun-14 12:29:48

I got an email friday morning to say my passport application has now been processed and sent for issue. I called the 0300 line and thry tell me it still hasnt been printed yet. Any idea how long it takes for it to be printed once the examiner has sent it for issue?

BeauticianNotMagician81 Sun 01-Jun-14 13:18:49

I had a call at 10am this morning also informing us that our sons passport will be sent out for delivery tomorrow received on Tuesday and no need to pay for upgrade. When they called they asked to speak to my partner. He called the 0300 number yesterday and I've called the 0845 all week. So maybe a male calling makes a difference as he gets a call back the next day and I've not had any ???

Mandymoo87 Sun 01-Jun-14 15:20:28

We fly on the 10 th and have told we can't up grade til next friday? Is that normal??My worry is what if application has any mistakes on it itl be to late ! Any advice would be appreciated as just can't see us going on our holiday and even people on the 0845 number havnt been that helpful! Are they still working on flight dates, as people who go near to me seem to have there's already x

maggiethemagpie Sun 01-Jun-14 15:42:40

brook - I got the text on Friday to say it was going for printing and then delivered Saturday. I sent mine, a first child's passport, for check and send on 2nd May and it got back to me just over four weeks later so it was pretty much within the timescale I'd anticipated but I think I was lucky because I have heard of others taking much longer. Think it depends if it goes to Durham where the backlog is, mine may have gone to Liverpool as I live in Manchester.

brook001 Mon 02-Jun-14 01:01:29

I got an email from the examiner as im in australia and she just said the application has now been processed and to expect to recieve it within 7 days.

I called dhl this morning to see if there is anything in their system yet as they deliver them to australia and theres nothing so im assuming it hasnt been printed or dispatched yet. :-(

hboo2003 Mon 02-Jun-14 03:41:30

im going to start ringing the 0845 number in the morning well it is morning I cant sleep with worry as going Saturday. can someone please pm me the 0845 number just to make sure it is correct. im scared to tell my son we cant go as he has anxiety. god I feel so sick to the stomach. this is awful. I did ring mp friday so finger S's crossed it might help.

hancon958 Mon 02-Jun-14 08:41:01

Hi hboo I have PM you. Good luck.

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 09:18:25

I have spoken to Durham this morning and got our delivery reference number and it is apparently being delivered by DX today!!

I cannot wait for the relief of stress once it has been delivered!!!

Aidycake34 Mon 02-Jun-14 09:28:42

Simon, when was your original application submitted and do you know when it was received by the passport office? Thanks.

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 09:33:23

They received it on the 9th May but it looked like it was going nowhere until I started annoying them over the last couple of weeks!

Aidycake34 Mon 02-Jun-14 09:36:04

Thanks, they received mine on the 4th and I've still not heard anything. I also fly on the 7th. They actually told me on Friday to stop phoning so I'm getting my husband to phone instead.

ProJuly08Mother Mon 02-Jun-14 09:36:51


We submitted our applications (child renewal and child's first passport) on 1st may. They were received 7th may. We got the renewal back last Wednesday but nothing regarding the first passport! We travel on Saturday! Have been in touch with MP and have range the 0845 number this morning and all they can tell me is it has been submitted to upgrade team! They should ring me back by Wednesday to take payment and it will then be processed! They have said they can't guarantee anything!! So what do I do? Is this correct? Should I be more insistent on wanting to speak to someone else? I've asked about other options to get it sooner and they've said there's nothing else! Just won't settle until it's in my hand!!! I can't holiday without my baby!!! Xx

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 09:40:34

Was yours a renewal or 1st passport? Did you contact your MP?

ProJuly08Mother Mon 02-Jun-14 09:47:46

If you're asking me - we sent a child's renewal (we have got back) and are still waiting for the child's first! And yes contacted MP

Aidycake34 Mon 02-Jun-14 09:48:14

Mine is a child's first passport, perhaps that's what the delay is. I sent my MPs office an email on Friday afternoon but with it being the weekend I've heard nothing back. The stress and anxiety I'm experiencing over this is unreal, I've recently had a baby and as silly as this sounds I can actually feel myself slipping into a depression over this.

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 09:56:19

Well I guess both can answer.

I would chase up your MP with a phone call. You will probably only get the MPs PA but they will hopefully fish out your email from the hundreds they receive everyday and that might speed things up.

The MPs office and staff we dealt with were a bit hesitant to begin with but were fantastic in the end and I'm truly grateful to them for their help.

Good luck

BeauticianNotMagician81 Mon 02-Jun-14 10:00:15

I have received the text this morning saying that ds passport is in print. I should hopefully get it tomorrow. I won't be able to get excited for our wedding/ holiday until that passport is in my hand

BeauticianNotMagician81 Mon 02-Jun-14 10:01:30

I would just say to call everyday until you get that call back for upgrade as I've a feeling that callback all depends on which advisor you happen to speak to on the phone x

Mandymoo87 Mon 02-Jun-14 11:06:01

Simon ur very lucky!!! X

JammyGeorge Mon 02-Jun-14 11:11:04

They've had ds2s for over a month. I've rang 0300 and 0845 over and over, written to mp, agreed to pay for an upgrade yet still no one will even look at the application.

Spoke to durham direct today and I am in the upgrade queue, it's not been looked at won't be for another week (they told me that last week) and basically if there's any mistake or issue with the form, countersignature or photo we are screwed.

It's a fucking joke.

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 11:16:11

Mandymoo, I know we are, you have a few extra days then us. Have you chased?
Its very odd as my wife called friday morning to be told there is no change and then an hour later we got a call saying it would be printed that day or saturday!

Just keep chasing your MP and Durham.

indie123 Mon 02-Jun-14 11:43:08

I sent my daughters renewal on 1st May. ..its was received and sent for examination on 5th may. I've called 0300 numerous times to be told different things regarding waiting times. I called last Wednesday and the guy put me on 48 hour callback and said I should call today if I don't hear anything. Called today and it's STILL awaiting examination. I mean come on they've had it 4 weeks now! And to make matters worse on another site people who sent theirs upto a week after me have already had theirs back in the past week! I've been put on another 48 hour call back and I've also filled in a form online to track progress. I plan to travel 26th or 29th June but I'm not booking until I get passport back and as the price is going up I need it back ASAP. I would call durham direct but I've heard waiting times are between 45 min and 80 min and then who knows how long I'll be speaking to it's a 0845 number no way I'm spending that long on the phone..if it's still waiting examination by the end of the week or I don't get the callback i guess I'll have to ring them

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 11:58:36

indie123, the only way you will get any real idea of where the application is at, is by calling the 0845 number. We have probably spent a fortune calling it but we had to get our passport. In out experience and most people who have been posting on here we found that the 0300 number is not very helpful even after they call back.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Mon 02-Jun-14 12:10:35

I called the 0845 number but surprisingly it was after DP called the 0300 that we got a callback. They asked to speak to him and not me on callback as obviously he have his name and number when he called. We sent our application 25th April received on 28th April at passport office and we for our text that its printing this morning. So ours has been exactly 5 weeks from them receiving it

JammyGeorge Mon 02-Jun-14 12:11:07

I was on hold for 40 mins to the 0845 number earlier today but like others have said they really are the only ones that know what's going on.

She'd did say she'd send a duplicate request to the upgrade team for what that's worth. Also the guy I spoke to on 0845 last week said the best thing you can do is ring every couple of days.

indie123 Mon 02-Jun-14 12:42:59

Simonbalaam and jammygeorge..yea judging from others previous experience seems like I am going to have to call them. I will try first thing at 8 am tomorrow to try and minimise the waiting time. Hopefully they can give me more insight into what's going on

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 12:56:04

YES!! its been delivered, we can pack now!!

salpipjack Mon 02-Jun-14 13:02:50

Today I got my call to say it was being printed, never have I felt so helpless, stressed and out of control. Many hours sleep lost & also a bit of weight which I can't complain about.

I filled the online form out then sent off the photo's & countersignature info for a child's replacement & a lost adults. The child's came back in just over 2 weeks. Mine did not. I called both the 0300 & direct Durham so many times requesting upgrades. I spoke to some lovely people, some complete waste of times & even a nasty one. I emailed my MP, no reply, so I tweeted him, response in minutes.

Friday I had 2 MP's & local Councillor calling them, all said I needed to wait for the call back in 48 hours. 5 times I was told to wait for a call that may or may not come.

As it was over 3 weeks since it was received in the office, I didn't have to pay the upgrade & it will be delivered by 9am Weds.

This thread saved my mind & to all the positive people who said it will be ok, I just want to say thank you x

Mandymoo87 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:53:01

Im in exactly same position as u jammyGeorge! If there's one mistake were screwed they won't consider an upgrade til friday simon, 4 days b4 I fly!! even mp is involved! Need it Tuesday as we fly Wednesday at 6am, or shud be! They are so unhelpful! :'( thanku :-) hopefully mine will be a happy ending like urs! :-) x

Mandymoo87 Mon 02-Jun-14 14:58:31

When do u fly jamm George? Simon - When should I try and ring again about upgrade do u think? They said we should get a call Friday but it's so far away to wait spesh wen u feel sick with worry x

BeauticianNotMagician81 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:42:01

I'm sure you will get your passport. Just keep calling. I did as I couldn't rest without updates. I was told on Thursday I wouldn't get a call back to the following Thursday then told on Friday it would be 24hours before travel. Then on Saturday 48 hours but they called on Sunday. Don't give up hope. The vast majority of people on here are getting their passports in time it might be close to travel but they are arriving

Catman123 Mon 02-Jun-14 15:44:10

That great salpipjack it hard waiting around for the call and pp but u got there in the end

MrsOnTheMove Mon 02-Jun-14 15:59:50

I would take any online tracking with a 'pinch of salt' Last Thursday I tried to track again and this morning they have once again replied with a 'awaiting examination' response - we had that response three times whilst waiting for a call back hmm

The thing is the passport was delivered on Saturday confused clearly no-one actually checked where it was up to!

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 16:23:36


Just keep calling every day. Keep chasing your MP. Eventually (weather or not the MPs influence helps) you start to hear things get moving. I do think that it can also depend on the person on the other end of the line as to what info you get out of them.

I spoke to one lady and although she was very blunt, she was very helpful, which I would prefer then a nicey nicey person with no helpful information!

lottie1x1x Mon 02-Jun-14 16:28:59

hi im in the same mess as all of you I sent my 2 children's first passports 3rd my and still not heard anything off the iv rang the awful 0300 and durham numbers they have put them in the "upgrades" que but im told I wont get a call back until next week.... I fly next sunday im worried sick iv wrote to my mp im just so worried they wont come in time sad ill loose every penny of my holiday and break my babies hearts STRESSED!!!!!!

Catman123 Mon 02-Jun-14 17:26:37

Hi lot tie we was the same could not sleep and so on if your in the upgrades list there we'll get bk to u but there do it by travel date u should have told them you was going on holiday wedensday then there would have got bk to u sooner that that I did we go on holiday tom I told them we was going last Friday and pp got sorted and was with as by wedensday

indie123 Mon 02-Jun-14 17:43:52

argh..i need to book my holiday asap. my aunt is travelling with us and is booking her ticket tomorrow for 24th june. i have to book ours too as the price is really good and im scared it will go up...its been fluctuating for the past few weeks!. cant call durham tomorrow as i have to leave for work at 8.30. i would call now or even tomorow after work but im a bit worried it may be a bad time to call. anyone called durham directly in the evening?...if so was it a really long wait? also anyone know what time they close?

SimonBalaam Mon 02-Jun-14 17:46:22

Indie. Try calling at 8 am. I think they are in then. You might be sorted before you leave for work.

lottie1x1x Mon 02-Jun-14 17:53:37

catman123 I wish I would of told them I was traveling sooner it would save on stress chances are im not going to get the call till thurs fri next week we fly at 6.30 am sun 15th the stress is killing me but I notice a lot of people are getting the at the very last min

Minikiki Mon 02-Jun-14 18:08:50

I know it's easy to say having hopefully sorted ours (submitted Apr 27, told printed and will be delivered Tue, flying out Wed, but regarding those being told they can't upgrade yet...
If you have successfully spoken to someone on the Durham 0845 number (DEFINITELY NOT THE 0300 number!), and involved MP, and they specifically asked for date of travel, then in our experience I would try and have some confidence the upgrade will in fact happen, albeit not until literally a couple of days prior to that date. Ours took a good few days from the upgrade conversation with Durham to the actual upgrade.
Though as mentioned above, that doesn't leave any leeway if there is a mistake of any time does it!

Catman123 Mon 02-Jun-14 18:12:33

We phone them up Friday to see wt happen ing but as I say we was the same got wedding to go to but once the upgread team phone we had pp bk next day I am sure it we'll work out for u the Durham office open at 8 do not ring the 0300 number there are shit

Minikiki Mon 02-Jun-14 18:15:55

I called on at least 3 occasions at quite literally a few seconds before / at 8.00 on the dot and never had to hold for more than 6/7 minutes. Good luck

Minikiki Mon 02-Jun-14 18:18:25

Both the 0300 callbacks (even when they do call) and the online tracking are a total waste of time, just in case anyone is pinning their hopes on either. Please don't, just call Durham direct however long it takes!

Mandymoo87 Mon 02-Jun-14 18:22:28

Thanx guys for your help think will call again tomorrow! Then it's exactly a week till we need it :-S

lottie1x1x Mon 02-Jun-14 18:44:52

is it best to keep ringing them even tho they say the will call to upgrade iv been told by a lady at durham mines in the que for upgrading so should I give them a few days or keep on (passport needed 14th june )

Straightforwarda Mon 02-Jun-14 19:07:25

lottie... you still have 2 weeks... it will be fine!

Straightforwarda Mon 02-Jun-14 19:08:29

.... and Im sure your wouldnt allow your children to lie and stamp their feet to get their own way?!

JammyGeorge Mon 02-Jun-14 19:09:33

Just got an email off one of my work colleagues she posted a child's renewal on 16th May and got it back yesterday 1st June so 2 weeks no hassle.

Catman123 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:15:09

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Aidycake34 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:15:24

Straightforward, seeing as you work at Durham can you tell me what my chances are? We fly Saturday and I'm waiting for a call for an upgrade.

Mikeysmum1 Mon 02-Jun-14 19:54:45

JammyGeorge - did your work colleague say which office the kids renewals went to?

JammyGeorge Mon 02-Jun-14 20:06:52

No I don't think she knows, she just posted it off and it came straight back so she had no reason to ring up and find out.

I'm presuming it wasn't durham!

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 00:54:29

Yes I think this needs to be done fairly!! Lying about travel dates will yes get your passport to you sooner but it may also affect those who are waiting honestly for theirs in the meantime and are actually travelling sooner! Don't get me wrong this whole process is awful! The stress is unreal! But I (and I am sure I am not alone) will be heartbroken if I don't get my sons passport in time for Saturday because someone has said they're travelling Wednesday and gets theirs first when they're not travelling until next week! Just think about it please.

Aidycake34 Tue 03-Jun-14 07:20:42

Projuly, I completely agree with you.

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 07:42:23

Thank you! Just as I would feel awful should mine come earlier than another who needs it earlier! I believe in karma and treat others how you'd like to be treated!

Aidycake34 Tue 03-Jun-14 08:56:25

My husband phoned Durham this morning and has been told that our application is with the upgrade team. Is this any different to being in the queue for upgrade as that is what I was told on Friday. They said we mightn't hear from the team until Thursday, we fly on Saturday so even if they do look at it, it's cutting it a bit fine.

benhoofer Tue 03-Jun-14 09:21:18

I travel out on Sunday and have requested the quicker service however i would like to know that if i can drive to Durham and do the one day appointment? However trying to get through to the Durham office is taking forever!

What number do i call to find out this information?

Pbsardin Tue 03-Jun-14 09:42:06

Hi everyone, I've been following this thread for a week or so and it has given me essential information which I will be forever grateful. I sent my sons application on the 25th April (online application followed by posting it with photos and relevant signatures) but sent the wrong birth certificate. My husband was away and by the time we opened the letter and sent the correct birth certificate it was only received at the PO on the 15th May. I phoned the 0300 number last tues and was told it would be two more weeks. I panicked as we fly on the 7th v early in the morning so needed it in my hands by the 6th. We rang the 0300 number several times and we came across a couple of extremely helpful people (and a couple not so helpful). We then rang the 0845 and I can't praise them enough for all the help, patience and time they spent sending emails to up grade our application. We called yesterday and were told that the application was with the upgrade team and would probably be look at on Wednesday at the earliest ad they were working on application which were due to travel until Wednesday. We then got a call later in the day to let us know that it had been printed and we could pay for super duper delivery, which we did and we receive the passport first thing this morning. PHEW!
When you consider that these people are working in a busy office which the Durham office clearly is and are under pressure to work towards sending us a passport to allow us to go on a nice holiday/break/wedding it can't be easy! It's not their fault if they are short staffed or have a period when they are overwhelmed with applications. Yes I agree the timelines given to us online and at the Post office are completely wrong and something should def be done about it! But at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to do things on time...i didn't, it stressed me immensely but I can tell you I have learned my lesson!
I TRULY believe people on this forum are trying to be helpful and their suggestions have been critical in our application (even if they sound a bit harsh) but I feel that some of the comments were very rude and unnecessary. Treat people with respect and you will achieve a lot more than if you don't!
To everyone that is still waiting for their passport, keep trying, keep ringing them and speaking to them, DONT GIVE UP! They will do their best and from all the posts in this thread it seems to me that the great majority of the time the people in the PO are working hard and they are getting those little red booklets in time for us to go and enjoy ourselves! GOOD LUCK everyone!

cbrunton Tue 03-Jun-14 10:02:54

Just a recap on what the best procedure to do is if you find yourself in this situation...
Call 08456015175 as soon as you can and request an upgrade. I understand they will only be able to help you if you fly < 2 weeks.

If you upgrade you will have to pay £60.50 for the privilege however if you are outside the 3 week timescale your fee is waived.

Contact your MP as soon as you can via email, phone or going to their surgery (in my experience and many others here they are more than happy to help, as it reflects well on them). It will most likely be their Office Manager who helps but they are the people who do all the background work in a day to day MP's office so rest assured.

Also be nice to the people in the forum they are all in the exact same position as you were so show some empathy.

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 10:19:55

Maybe afterwards it would be helpful to others if we post an update post stating: date sent, date received, date travelled? Just so others can get a general idea as to how close to travel date to expect it. I'm no where nearer to receiving mine and the worrying is just getting worse!

rloud09 Tue 03-Jun-14 10:21:30

Many thanks for your updates guys. I had a call from the Liverpool office Saturday morning telling me that my passport is in the escalation process and I should receive a call on Monday but didn't receive one! Does anyone have the correct Liverpool number? I have 08456015107 but have never been able to get through sad. I need it this week! Thank you smile.

lottie1x1x Tue 03-Jun-14 10:45:30

my mp replied to my email I sent late last night he replied at 9.02 this morning and is very keen to help he has emailed the following...Thank you for that. I have forwarded the Details over to the Passport Agency and asked that the matter be urgently looked into given the circumstances. I will come back to you as soon as they respond and follow up with a phone call later this week if necessary.... I know I don't fly until next sunday im just so anxious if I was told 100% ill have it before I fly id stop badgering them but until that happens im gona be like a dog with a bone smile

Pbsardin Tue 03-Jun-14 10:51:13

Initially received at PO 25th April
Further docs received at PO 15th May
Passport Received 3rd June
Travelling 7th June

But bear in mind things change every day and very quickly which I assume it depends on their workload. They are prioritising things based on departure date. Ring them daily and keep asking for update and for an upgrade.

indie123 Tue 03-Jun-14 13:48:42

Durham have had my daughters renewal since May 1st. Her actual first passport had about a year left but I wanted new passport with new name on it. Name was changed on birth certificate and is a simple name removal eg ella-may was changed to just ella. I thought it would be straightforward and with them saying 3 week turnaround I didn't think I had left it too late especially as there were 8 weeks until I planned to travel. Plus When her first passport was done it only took 7 days. I also know that renewals tend to be faster. Yesterday marked 4 weeks since they received it. I called 0300 who said it's still awaiting examination. I called the durham 0845 number this morning. .The guy seemed a bit offish. He told me that a letter was sent yesterday to countersigner! Why!? They didn't even do it for her first passport and this is a renewal. Plus the person has signed before all it is is a simple name removal so what's the hold up?! And why has it taken a month for them to do this? The letter will now most likely reach tomorrow fingers crossed and now I have to go and hassle the lady to hurry up and fill out whatever they're asking for. We have 3 weeks until we travel! Once she's sent it who knows how long it will then take for them to process. Great!!!! I really need to book the holiday as soon as possible. If i felt we would have this problem I would have kept the old passport! So angry

eved1983 Tue 03-Jun-14 14:27:46

OMG I'm so glad I found this thread. I am literally having a nervous breakdown. We go away 2 weeks today and my sons passport has not arrived. I have rang the 0300 about 20 times and no callbacks. Now trying 0845 number and praying. Just seem to be on hold for ever and a day. Hoping this works otherwise me and baby staying at home sad

Vikkikitti Tue 03-Jun-14 15:38:12

rloud09: The numbers for the Liverpool office are 08456012058 and 08456015107. Keep trying! I've been on hold to them for over an hour with no answer at times, particularly in the afternoon. I tried first thing this morning and got through to a lovely lady within seconds.
Both lines close at 5pm when a recorded message is switched on.
Good luck!

eved1983 Tue 03-Jun-14 16:24:17

Thank you so much to the people on this thread who posted 0845 number for Durham. Held on for an hour then spoke to someone who promised me they will now fast track it. However I travel on 17th and he says it will not be looked at for at least another week, although I can drive and collect it. Please tell me they will stick to this? Been so worried! Don't know how I'll get through another week like this

Catman123 Tue 03-Jun-14 16:42:36

We'll that y I am sitting here with my son 1st pp and your worrying I little white lie never hurt any one we got told lots off lies by the 0300 number so yes your right karma is a bithc

Kazzab77 Tue 03-Jun-14 16:45:45

Thank you all for the information given. I waited over an hour today calling the Durham number and finally a very nice lady said she would pull my application and someone will call me in a few days. She said to call the 0845 number back on Monday if I didn't hear anything STAY ON HOLD Someone will answer and she never questioned why I was calling this number. I fly on the 16th and she said there was still time for it to come through the standard process. GOOD LUCK.

salpipjack Tue 03-Jun-14 16:48:12

Mine came this morning as special delivery before 9am. Didn't pay for the upgrade as they held it over 3 weeks yet I'm still receiving messages from when I emailed saying its being processed and that I will get a call back from Durham within the next 3 days (not much use as flying on Firday). Seems the email system doesn't work so don't bother with that.

Keep calling the Durham line, it seems to work best. Good luck to everyone, never do I want to feel as stressed as I did last week.

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 16:53:21

Catman! You sound so lovely! Hope you enjoy your holiday! Karma is a bitch and will come back and bite you! Be warned xx

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 16:54:54

Oh and 'little white lies never hurt anyone' unfortunately in this case they are!

Catman123 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:01:41

Yes I get what your saying but your telling me that the 0300 number as not lie to u and I am a lovely person I don't won't any one worry like I did not sleeping for 3days over the bank holiday I fly tom and got wedding to go to

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 17:11:26

And learn to spell! That post is horrendous! You should be ashamed!

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 17:14:42

Apologies for last message - written in the heat of the moment! I do understand why you did it and I'm not going to lie part of me did think ooh I wish I'd have moved my travel date earlier but unfortunately I couldn't forget all of the other people in the same frantic situation as me/us and who are travelling sooner then I am! I travel Saturday so Friday is the last day for me and it's killing me the waiting, the wild goose chases etc but they do a priority system for a reason and if it becomes abused then it's not going to work is it?

Aidycake34 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:27:50

Projuly, did you hear anything back today?

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 17:35:14

Aidycake apparently I should receive a call tomorrow regarding upgrade payment, should be printed Thursday and posted to receive Friday? Roll on 8am to continue chasing!!! My MPs have been fab though they have managed to help another local lady receive hers tomorrow for travel Thursday so hopefully the same will be said for me! Believe me after this in going to tell EVERYONE to do passports in advance!!

Catman123 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:36:00

I did only say I was travelling 2 days earlier so was in exactly same situation and feeling sick couldn't sleep like rest of you. Thanks for kind message about my spelling and karma coming to bite me back lol but hope it all works out for u

Aidycake34 Tue 03-Jun-14 17:46:47

I'm in the same position as you, travel Saturday, waiting for upgrade callback tomorrow. I'm umming and aahing about whether I should chase up in the morning or not. I've spoken to my MPs office today and they're waiting for a callback from Durham too. I'm just hoping and praying that everything combined works.

indie123 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:01:26

This is how useless 0300 are. After calling Durham directly this morning and being told letter was sent to countersigner yesterday I just called 0300 as I have some questions. I decided to first of all ask for a progress update and was told it's still awaiting examination and there's no more information. .no notes on the application nothing. Just that I should call back in a few days. Good thing I called Durham earlier and have been able to tell countersigner to expect letter and to send it off as soon as possible!

Debruby Tue 03-Jun-14 18:07:46

Got a text to say passport apps received. 23/05/14. Daughters renewal and mothers first passport at 70yrs old! You can not fast track first passport. Does every adult have to have interview? I want to book hol for 12/07/14, that will mean they will have 7 weeks! What's the chances? Give me hope someone! X

OwlCapone Tue 03-Jun-14 18:10:33

I want to book hol for 12/07/14, that will mean they will have 7 weeks! What's the chances? Give me hope someone! X

The answer appears to be the same as "how long is a piece of string".

Mine and DSs renewals were back within 3 weeks, two weeks after I got the text to say they were received. However, others have had nightmares.

BeauticianNotMagician81 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:13:05

Karma is a bitch and being rude to someone because their spelling isn't perfect won't help anyone. sad

I don't travel until 10th June but received my passport today. I'm not sure why I got mine sooner than others travelling near my date maybe its because its my own wedding that week. So maybe Cat got theirs earlier due to attending a wedding.

It's very easy to say you wouldn't lie about your travel date as you would worry about others not getting their passport. However, when you are worried and desperate I can understand why some are especially when some are getting told they will receive passport the day before travel. I can't even begin to imagine how much worse I would have felt had they told me that as I've already been stressed to the max. It does seem that everyone is receiving their passport before travel now. My best friend travelling with us is still waiting for her children's but I'm sure she will get them.

ProJuly08Mother Tue 03-Jun-14 18:15:15

Ooh aidycake keep me posted tomorrow as to what you hear and I shall do the same!! Hopefully we will both be at similar stages if both travelling on the same day! x

BeauticianNotMagician81 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:15:31

Owlcapone I think you will end up like all of us calling constantly which has probably cost us as much as fast track. So I would fast track straight away if possible x

OwlCapone Tue 03-Jun-14 18:20:10

I think you have me confused with another poster smile

BeauticianNotMagician81 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:28:53

Oops sorry I see you were replying to a post. I can't find the original poster.

Debruby Tue 03-Jun-14 18:35:28

That might be me! First passports cannot be fast tracked or I most certainly would! X

BeauticianNotMagician81 Tue 03-Jun-14 18:36:40

In that case I would just post it check and send as soon as possible. Maybe attach a note with your date of travel x

Minikiki Tue 03-Jun-14 18:40:43

Sent Apr 27th
Confirmed received May 2nd
Week of life wasted on 0300 number
MP contacted Tue 27th
Upgrade conversation 8am 0845 number Durham Wed 28th. Travel date requested by them - first thing Wed June 4th
Phoned by Durham Sunday June 1st to say printed (no extra upgrade fee)
Passport delivered at door 5pm Tue June 3rd
Flying tomorrow Wed June 4th

Not exactly stress free timeframe is it, but hopefully that might give some hope to those still waiting. Durham to their credit did exactly what they said they would.

(Ps. still waiting for a single callback / email from 0300 and online supposed service - just bypass them completely)

Debruby Tue 03-Jun-14 18:46:22

It's already at passport office! I cannot check up on it as didn't take barcode. Was asking if every adult has had to have a interview for fist passport? X