Complaints procedure

If you're not satisfied with the service received when applying for a passport or dealing with the General Register Office, you can make a complaint by phone or email, or in writing.

What you can expect from us

We aim to provide a high standard of customer service in all our dealings with customers. You can expect:

  • staff to be polite, helpful and professional

  • passports to be issued in line with our published standards

  • details on your passport to be correct and your supporting documents to be returned promptly

  • registration certificates to be issued in line with our published standards from the General Register Office (GRO)

  • special provisions and services for people with disabilities

  • clear and helpful explanations from our staff if you are denied a British passport because of citizenship or on other grounds

Passports

If you have a complaint about how we handled your passport application, please contact us.

By phone

On 0300 222 0000. The line is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 5.30pm on weekends and public holidays.

During office hours we will put you through to our customer service team. Outside office hours we will ask you to explain the complaint. We will then arrange for a member of our customer service team to phone you.

By email

You can do this using the passport enquiries form.

When we get your complaint we will:

  • let you know we have received it (if it was a letter, fax or email)

  • investigate it

  • let you know what went wrong and what we are doing to put things right

We will write to you within 2 weeks, either with a full reply or to let you know what is happening if we have not finished our investigation.

In writing

Please send your letter or fax to our central customer service team as follows:

Customer service manager
Customer contact centre
PO Box 175
Newport
Gwent
NP20 2DW

Fax: 01633 473899

When you write please give us:

  • full details of the problem

  • the name and date of birth of the person the passport was for

  • the date the application form was sent to us

  • the regional passport office the application form was sent to

  • the barcode number from the application form, if you have a note of it

  • the passport number, if you have one

  • information so we can contact you (name, address, postcode, day and evening phone numbers, and a fax number and email address if you have these)

  • the date and time of your appointment and an appointment reference number, if you visited a passport office to get your passport

Further action

If you have followed step 1 and are not satisfied with our response, or if you have a more general complaint (for example, about a policy matter) that is not related to your specific application, please write to, fax or email:

Parliamentary and Diplomatic Enquiries Team (PDET)
Communication and Corporate Development Directorate
Her Majesty's Passport Office
4th Floor SE, Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

Email: hqenquiries@ips.gsi.gov.uk

If you have followed steps 1 and 2 and are still not satisfied, you may ask your MP to raise the matter with our Chief Executive or the Home Office minister responsible for us.

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask your MP to request an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (the Ombudsman). You can only do this through your MP.

The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints by members of the public about the way government departments and their executive agencies have treated them.

Compensation

We realise that sometimes our mistakes may cause you expense or financial loss. In these cases, you should write us a letter and include any documents that prove your claim (for example, a receipt to show a cancelled flight).

We only normally offer compensation for financial loss as a result of delays in our guaranteed (Fast Track and Premium) services.

General Register Office

If you have an enquiry or complaint, please contact us.

By email or through our online complaints form

If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have ordered from GRO, you can use our certificate service order enquiries form to send us a message.

When you submit this form, it will generate an email to us with the details you have supplied. If your complaint relates to any other aspect of GRO’s work apart from certificates, please email the details of your complaint to gro.communications@gro.gsi.gov.uk.

Please note that GRO does not deal with passports. For passport complaints, please see the information above.

By phone

+44 (0)300 123 1837

Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm

Saturday: 9am to 4pm

Our contact centre staff will do their utmost to put things right. If we cannot give you an immediate answer, we will agree a convenient time to call you back, as we may need to arrange for someone with more detailed knowledge to speak to you.

In writing

Customer service manager
Room E101
General Register Office
HM Passport Office
Trafalgar Road
Southport
PR8 2HH

Please provide:

  • full details of the problem

  • a reference number you have already have from us if this is an ongoing case or a certificate order (this is usually found in the top right hand corner of any letter we have sent you or provided at the time of ordering a certificate)

  • contact details (name, address, postcode, day and evening phone numbers, and an email address or fax number if you have these)

When we get your complaint we will:

  • let you know we have received it (if it was a letter or email)

  • investigate it

  • respond to you within two weeks, either with a full reply or to let you know what is happening if we have not finished our investigation

Please remember that while we always aim to provide the best possible service, we have to work within the provisions set out in the legislation covering the work of our office.

Sometimes it may be that we simply cannot meet your wishes because the relevant piece of legislation does not allow it. In those circumstances, we shall always aim to explain to you why we feel unable to act further.

Further action

If you have written to or phoned us and are not satisfied with our response, please write to, or email:

Communications manager, Room 205
General Register Office
HM Passport Office
Trafalgar Road
Southport
PR8 2HH

Email: gro.communications@gro.gsi.gov.uk

If after writing to the communciations manager, you are still dissatisfied, you may ask your member of Parliament (MP) to raise the matter with the Registrar General or the Home Office minister responsible for the GRO.

If you are still not satisfied, you can ask your MP to request an investigation by the parliamentary commissioner for administration (the Ombudsman).

The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints by members of the public about the way government departments and their executive agencies have treated them. You can only request an investigation through your MP.

Compensation

We realise that sometimes our mistakes may cause you expense or financial loss. In these cases, you should follow the instructions in step 1 and write us a letter. With the letter you should send any documents that prove your claim. We only normally offer compensation for financial loss as a result of delays in our guaranteed services, for example, priority certificate orders or certificates ordered by special delivery, where these have not been despatched on the due date.

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