People planning to travel abroad after the end of March will be required to have six months left on their passport in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The edit comes in a government notice to the travel industry over passport validity changes should the UK fall out of the European Union without a deal on March 29.
The key call to action is for customers to visit the HM Passport Office online passport checker on the government’s GOV.UK website to see if they are affected and renew their passport early if necessary.
For example, UK residents wanting to travel on March 30 – the day after the UK is due to leave the EU if there is no deal – must have a passport issued on or after October 1, 2009.
HM Passport Office is calling on the travel trade to email or text customers to inform them of the potential validity changes. It is advising that the details are placing prominently on websites.
Travel companies are also encouraged to update their staff on the potential changes to passport validity.
“This communications toolkit for the travel and tourism industry has been updated in light of the government’s increased preparations for a no deal exit from the EU,” the Passport Office says.
“The content is designed to help you inform your employees, customers and stakeholders about passport validity changes in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019.”
It suggests advising travellers not to get caught out and suggests emails should say: “The rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal.
“The government has increased planning for a no deal EU Exit and is asking citizens to make sure they are also prepared.
“UK passport holders should therefore check their passport to see whether it is valid for travel after 29 March 2019.
“After 29 March 2019:
1. You should have 6 months left on your UK passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.
2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe. The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.
“Currently, UK passport holders can travel to all EU countries as long as they have enough remaining validity to cover the length of their stay, so it’s important to be aware of the above changes in a ‘no deal’ Brexit.”