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Passport process gets tougher

Adults applying for their first UK passport are being advised to act well before they plan on going on holiday, after the Home Office introduced new anti-fraud measures.

From June 1st, first-time adult passport customers will not be able to take advantage of the one-week fast-track passport application service. Instead, the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) will carry out face-to-face interviews as part of the application process.

"If you're planning a trip abroad this summer make sure your passport is top of the 'to do' list and get it organised now, before you book your holiday," warned Bernard Herdan, the IPS' executive director for service delivery.

"With identity theft on the rise, new developments are being introduced to help fight passport fraud and forgery.

"The interviews will be brief and straightforward, and are a simple and effective way to protect our customers' identities, making it much harder for a fraudster to get a passport."

As a result of these new security measures, the IPS is now recommending new passport applicants allow six weeks for their documents to be processed.

People can still renew their existing passport via the fast-track system.