News team

HM Passport Office has started to introduce passports that will no longer include the holder’s signature in digital format. Instead the passport holder is required to sign their passport after it has been issued to them.

The move to a handwritten signature is an essential development for improving HM Passport Office’s online application service, by removing the need for customers to send signed paper forms and printed photographs in support of their application. It brings the UK into line with passports issued by other countries such as the USA, France, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada. 

The change is being introduced on a phased basis, with all passports being issued without a digital copy of the holder’s signature from late January 2017. However, valid UK passports with the signature in digital format will continue to be in circulation up until 2027.

A passport is not valid for travel without the inclusion of a signature. Ideally, passport holders should sign their passport as soon they receive their new passport, However, the passport holder may add their signature at any point before they depart from the UK. 

Key messages: 

  • The passport must contain a signature to be valid for travel, customers should sign their passport as soon as they receive it.
  • Customers will need to sign above the pre-printed line above the page which shows their personal details such as their name and date of birth. 
  • Customers will need to sign using a black ballpoint pen.
  • Existing passports with a digital signature are still valid for use until they reach their expiry date.

Any enquiries should be directed to the Passport advice line number is 0300 222 0000.