PEOPLE whose passports have six months or less to run - and who provided a mobile phone number when applying for it - are set to be sent a text message from the Home Office urging them to renew early.

Millions of people will receive a message, and the first batch of texts have been sent out.

The remainder will be sent during the next few days, but if you do not get one, the advice is to check your passport renewal date anyway.

The texts form part of the UK Government's 'Get Ready for Brexit' campaign as it prepares for the possibility of leaving the European Union with no deal on October 31.

If this does happen, there will be new passport validity rules for travelling to most European countries.


What will change?

At the moment, UK passport holders can travel to EU countries as long as their passports have not expired.

If we leave the European Union with a deal, this will continue until the end of the transitional period.

But if we leave the European Union with no deal, two new rules will apply:

  • Adults and children will need to have at least six months left on their passport to travel to most EU countries;
  • Any extra months on a passport over 10 years may not count towards the six months needed. A passport may have extra months if the holder renewed their previous passport before it expired.

In total, this will affect travelling to the 34 countries in Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City.

If you regularly travel to any of the above countries, it is highly advisable to make sure your passport is up to date ready for Brexit.

A passport renewal or replacement costs £75.50 if done online, or £85 if on paper, and takes up to three weeks, unless more information is needed.