UK courier service will deliver passports
New passports will be delivered by secure courier from February in a effort to reduce the 3,000 which go missing each year, the Home Office said.
The UK Passport Service (UKPS) has signed a contract with a private firm for the six million deliveries a year.
Some high risk areas – such as inner city postcodes – will require a signature on delivery.
A Home Office spokesman said the move would help to prevent passport theft and fraud subsequently carried out using the documents.
“This is particularly important in today’s environment where the public is increasingly concerned about the growing problem of ID fraud and the links to terrorism and organised crime,” he said.
“UKPS is confident that the awarding of this contract to SMS will result in a significant reduction in losses of passports in the post.”
UKPS customers will also get guaranteed next day delivery of their documents by the firm, Special Mail Services Ltd.
Costs will be absorbed by a recent rise in passport charges, which increased from £33 to £42 last month.
About 80% of the UK population hold a British passport.