ENGLISHUnited Kingdom

Man shocked to find his new passport has someone else’s photo



A man who renewed his passport was horrified to get it back featuring another bloke’s photo instead of his own.

Ben Spence paid £82 to update the document ahead of a weekend birthday trip to Amsterdam with pals at the end of this month.

It came back with all his correct information – but had a picture of a total stranger.

Ben, 28, said: They put a completely different person’s picture in my passport. I couldn’t believe it.

Ben, from Blackheath, SE London, collected his new passport from his local post office last Wednesday.

He said: I flicked through it, and it seemed all fine. But my friend who was with me looked over my shoulder said ‘wait that’s not you!

We had a bit of a laugh about it but then realised the security issue involved.

I’d also waited four weeks for it and was worried I’d miss my trip to Amsterdam.

The real Ben Spence Ben, an air conditioning fitter, had to arrange an emergency appointment with the passport office in Central London, and had to miss a day of work.

He added: “I’m really frustrated that the Home Office are the ones that made the mistake, and I’ve had to take a day off work to sort this out.

All they could offer me was an apology.

Now I have to wait another ten to 15 days to get a new passport. My holiday is on the 24th – they better be quick about it!

He added: “I understand that mistakes happen, but at the end of the day, it’s me who would get into trouble over it.

It’s a good job I did notice it because if I went to the airport on my birthday with the wrong picture they could have arrested me.

The Home Office said: “HM Passport Office processes more than six million passport applications each year and errors are very rare.

Ensuring that passports are issued correctly is an absolute priority and any breaches of our high standards are examined thoroughly.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused to Mr Spence and will be issuing him with a replacement passport shortly.


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