United Kingdom citizens who hold red passports (issued before the U.K. left the European Union) are subject to a recent rule change that may shorten the term of their documents and prevent them from travelling abroad.

According to the new rule, passports are now valid for exactly 10 years and no longer. If a red passport shows a term of more than ten years, any additional months beyond ten years are no longer valid. This can reduce the validity time by several months without the passport holders’ knowledge.

The government and travel industry are trying to get the word out to Brits with the old-style red passports, urging them to check the validity dates on their travel documents. 

Brits need just three months left on their passport to travel to Europe, but under the new rules, the EU will no longer accept any additional months that could previously be added.

A government website confirms:

  • ​​Your passport must be less than ten-years-old on the day after you leave on a trip.
  • If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. However, any extra months on a passport over ten years may not count towards the minimum period needed for international travel.

Blue-cover passports have only been issued since 2020 and are not affected by the rule change.

Sources (all United Kingdom):

Chronicle Live

Daily Record

Glasgow Live

The Sun

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