HM Passport Office has started to introduce passports that will no longer include the holders' signatures in digital format. Instead passport holders are required to sign their passports after they have been issued to them.

The move to a handwritten signature is an essential development for improving HM Passport Office’s online application service, by removing the need for customers to send signed paper forms and printed photographs in support of their application.

It brings the UK into line with passports issued by other countries such as the USA, France, Ireland, New Zealand and Canada.

The change is being introduced on a phased basis, with all passports being issued without a digital copy of the holder’s signature from late January 2017. However, valid UK passports with the signature in digital format will continue to be in circulation up until 2027.

A passport is not valid for travel without the inclusion of a signature.

Ideally, passport holders should sign their passport as soon they receive their new passports. However, passport holders may add their signatures at any point before they depart from the UK.