A new online passport renewal service has been launched by the government which is said to take an average of ten minutes to complete.

HM Passport Office piloted the new process last year with 240,000 people.

Applicants can choose to upload a “suitable” digital photo from a smartphone or tablet.

Once ready for processing, it still takes around three weeks for the Home Office to send out a new passport, providing all documents submitted are accepted. This timescale will stay the same.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill, said: “This latest offering is a key part of the Home Office’s drive to transform the way we deliver our services through digitisation.

“It is designed to improve efficiency and convenience by providing a modern and secure service to millions of passport holders and applicants.”

To be eligible, applicants must live in the UK, be 26 or older, not hold dual-nationality and in possession of their current passport, which cannot have expired before 2012.

They cannot apply through the new streamlined process if the have lost their passport or had it stolen, or if they are making changes to their name.

This service will gradually become available to all passport customers.

In the meantime, all UK customers and British Citizens overseas can complete the majority of their application and pay online, before printing and returning a signed declaration, their supporting documents, and photographs in the post to HM Passport Office for processing.

Each year, HM Passport Office issues over six million passports, operating seven regional passport offices and from over 40 passport interview offices across the UK.

To renew your passport online visit www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport