How to apply for your British passport from USA

*updated August 9th 2016

When British Nationals realise that their passport is about to run out, what can they do?

Overseas British passport applications  must now be applied for ONLINE via website.  The British Consulate says “don’t leave it until the last minute to apply for your passport. You can apply up to nine months in advance and any unexpired time will be added to your new passport”

This applies to new passports and renewals. 

You will mailing your passport to the following address

Durham Passport Office
Milburngate House
DH97 1PA

We advise getting a tracking number when you mail; you can send through the USPS for about $16

You can also book a same day appointment in the UK for a renewal passport. However if you have lost your passport and go home on an emergency document, it can take a week for an expedited renewal:

You can find your nearest UK Passport Customer Service Centre. Your appointment may be up to 2 weeks from the day you book it.

Passport Advice line Telephone: 0300 222 0000
Textphone: 0300 222 0222

Text Relay: 18001 0300 222 0000

Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, 9am to 5:30pm

Please check here for frequently asked questions.

If you have lost your passport make sure to report it asap - you can do so via this link 

Want to apply for your U.S. born child's UK passport? Click here for info 


The Home Office is the lead government department on nationality matters. If you have an enquiry about eligibility for British citizenship or nationality, information can be found at: 

Need more information ?
If you need detailed information about what type of passport you need, what documents you need to supply for different types of application please go to What passport do I need? page on Gov.UK

In response to the difficulties many dual national passport holders have faced, HMPO have changed the wording in their guidance to make it much clearer that dual nationals do not need to send in their US passport when applying for a British passport. HMPO will accept a colour photocopy of non-British passports (every page including blank pages) from dual nationals as part of their application . 

If you need to travel urgently and your normal passport is not available you should contact your nearest consular office. They may be able to provide you with emergency travel documentation. Please note they will not be able to answer general passport questions or give information on passport applications in progress (as they are no longer involved in this process). You should only contact them if you have a need to travel urgently and you will be asked to supply evidence of your need.

Contact for British Consulate Los Angeles:
2029 Century Park E #1350,
Los Angeles,
CA 90067
(310) 789-0031

If you cannot find the information you need on the GOV.UK website, please contact the Passport Advice Line on +44 300 222 0000

If you want to renew in person during your next visit to the UK there is a number that you can call to make a ‘same day’ appointment if it is for a straightforward renewal:

01144 300 222 0000 

This number is open UK time 
0800 – 2000hrs (you are advised to call this a week or two before you arrive in the UK).
UK Passport photos are a different size to the USA. We like Photo Center on Beverly Blvd to get them done. Click here for their info

Or try this website recommended by one of our members

A simple (and very cheap!) solution to finding UK size passport photos since some places only do US style photos. Use your smartphone or digital camera to take a pic against a grey or beige background and then upload to a free website such as, then order a print online at CVS etc.

If you have a recommendation please share it in the comments section below. 

Lots of you ask us about the Emergency Travel Document British Consulates General Los Angeles have shared this useful guide with us

Bookmark it as you never know when it will come in handy...


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  2. I am a US-UK dual citizen applying from the US for my first UK passport. Form C-1 and its notes are not clear but seem to imply that I must provide my original (not a photocopy), current US passport with my application. Is that correct?

  3. Anonymous -contact the British consulate in the US to ask more specific questions - you can also find them on Facebook - Best

  4. I'm in the same boat as "Stranger in a Strange Land".
    It's getting close to 8 weeks since I know (signature confirmation) that my passport was received in Washington, and I still don't know when it will be done. Calling the Careline for status information is pointless, but there is nowhere else to go. They did confirm that the processing time is still 3-4 weeks, but of course, that clock doesn't start until they actually begin processing, which in my case appears to have been about 4 weeks after receiving everything.
    The only information they can provide is basically, "yes, your application was received, and is in process", and then "no, it's not finished yet". It's not really their fault, because I don't think that they actually have access to any more information than that, but it makes it a frustrating process.
    If there was a way for them to inform me (via e-mail, for example) when my application was actually complete, that would be helpful.
    My company is asking me to travel as soon as possible, so every day counts for me. My only recourse at the moment is to call the "Careline" every day, and pay them $4-$5 each time for the privilege of being told that my passport is not ready yet, and they don't really know when it will be (other than repeating 3-4 weeks after it started processing).

  5. InMexico withouta passportApril 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I am a Uk citizen resident in Mexico, and am still awaiting any news of my passport, after sending it in January, payment being taken from my credit card 30 January! The Careline system has been of NO use whatsoever, as they seem unable to take my credit card number to pay the extra cost for the call, according to them because my phone doesn-t allow it. I have used 5 different phones! I hoped to travel with my 2 daughters end of May, to return to live in UK. I don-t know if that is going to happen, and I hope I will be able to afford the increasingly expensive flight tickets! I have contacted countless bodies...FCO, Consular services and of course all of Carelines email addresses, only to receive the same reply....Please contact the Careline phone numbers....
    I realize they must be going through teething problems, but the lack of feedback is appalling. I get some comfort knowingg that I am not the only one, though I sympathise wholeheartedly with those who share my stressful and frustrating situation. I did find one email address that I am niavely hoping might pay some attention to my (our) plight and will post it here as soon as I sort it from the many mails I have sent. Of course, they say you do have to give them 10 working days...

  6. Inmexico Withouta PassportApril 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    The email that for no apparent reason gives me a little hope, although I have as yet to receive a reply is passport Feedback( Good luck!

  7. I am attempting to renew my passport from the USA. I have applied online and printed everything out. There is no mention of how I send my application, should it be recorded delivery? And if I am sending it to the UK or the Washington office?? Any help would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to send my passport to the wrong place and have already paid!

    1. Hi Brit did you manage to figure it out? It goes to the Durham office in the UK, although we have just updated our post to include news on a free extension available to Brits overseas

  8. I have applied and paid online too and it does not advise what method to post the documents and passport until you print out the form, and it appears to be Durham, UK. I am also confused and expected it to be Washington. If you were able to find out, can you please advise on here ? Thanks!

    Just found this useful link, appears they do have to be sent to UK.

  10. Yes, you send all the forms to the address in Durham. You can track the progress online if you set up an account when applying

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  14. I am currently working with an attorney to obtain my green card, I have lost my uk passport, I am not sure how I can get it replaced, Can I do it online or Do I need to follow some other methods. ANy advice would be great

    1. We have just updated the instructions - so check above
      make sure to cancel your lost passport asap
      via this link

  15. Hi. I am British and have been here for over 30 years and I would really like to know how I get a passport once it has already expired! Has anyone gone through this process? Advice? I've written to the Embassy, but received no response.

    1. It will be exactly the same process as above. You need to apply through the UK now

  16. Hello!

    Thank you for this interesting blog. I had a question regarding the passport application online.

    I reside in Los Angeles, I was wondering if there would be an issue printing the passport application because we use A4 sized paper in the uk.

    Do you have any clarification on this?

    By the way, I'm renewing my passport. How long is the process?

    Thanks in advance :)

  17. wow, that was a very quick process and I'm impressed. I filled out the form online. Mailed my old passport with photos from L.A. to Durham by Registered mail on 10th March. Received new Passport on 23rd March! that's 13 days turnaround including delivery.

  18. I was astonished to receive my new passport in just 8 days.. I completed the online form then a few weeks later on April 18th I sent it to Durham via Fedex from my local post office in Massachusetts. The new passport was delivered by DHL on April 27th, today. Exellent service!!

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  20. Really nice blog. I would like to thanks to share such informative article. I am waiting for next blog. You may get a new passport easily Apply for new passport

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