IPS urging Gloucestershire residents to apply for passports before April
CITIZENS in Gloucestershire are being urged to apply for a passport early by the Identity and Passport Service.
Figures show that Gloucestershire had the second highest number of applications in the South West, behind Bristol in the summer.
The surge in demand led to a huge number of counter applications for the Passport Service to process and customers facing delays to their summer holiday or missing out altogether.
They are urging customers to renew before April to receive their passports quicker than the advised three-weeks period.
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Sarah Rapson, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said: "The Identity and Passport Service works hard each year to process more than 5.5 million applications to ensure customers can travel abroad for business or on holiday.
"But to ensure passports remain one of the most trusted and secure documents in the world, each application takes time to process.
"All too often people plan every other part of their holiday and forget one of the most important things – their passport. They are then forced to apply last minute, running the risk of missing out on the holiday altogether.
"Applying early and outside the busy summer months will help ensure customers receive their passport in good time and could even save them money."
More than 52,000 people in the South West of England applied for a passport in July alone last year.