To better protect applicants’ sensitive data, U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide have changed the payment methods that we can accept for mail-in passport applications. We can no longer accept credit or debit card payments by mail for U.S. passport services.
Keep reading to find out more about the payment methods that we can accept by mail for U.S. passport services in the United Kingdom, and what to do if you cannot obtain one of the accepted payment methods.
Can I still apply by mail?
You can still apply by mail as long as your passport service qualifies for submission by mail; check our website at https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/u-s-passports/ to make sure.
The only difference is that you will now need to include either a Foreign Bank Draft or an International Money Order issued in U.S. dollars and payable to the “U.S. Disbursing Officer” when you mail in your application.
Please contact the bank(s) that you have an account with directly to find out which products they offer. A Foreign Bank Draft may also be known as a Foreign Draft, Teller’s Check, Banker’s Check or Cashier’s Check.
Why do I have to pay by Foreign Bank Draft or International Money Order to apply by mail?/Is there another way to pay by mail?
These are the only payment methods that we can accept for mail-in applications. They are payment methods that are drawn by the bank and guarantee that funds are available. We can no longer accept credit or debit card forms as they are not a secure way to transfer sensitive financial information.
We cannot accept personal checks (cheques), SWIFT transfers, IBAN transfers, e-transfers, certified checks, traveler’s checks, or counter checks.
We are unable to accept cash for applications submitted by mail.
Furthermore, we cannot accept payment through our website, by electronic transfer, or by telephone, fax or email.
Any attempts to pay using payment methods that we cannot accept will delay your application until you either submit an accepted form or payment or schedule an appointment to apply in person.
How can I obtain a Foreign Bank Draft or an International Money Order? Do I have to go to a U.S. bank?
You do not have to use a U.S. bank; many financial institutions in the UK have partnerships with U.S. banks.
We cannot provide a list of financial institutions but we can confirm that these payment methods are available in the United Kingdom. We have received accepted payment methods from the majority of well-known high-street banks.
We recommend that you contact the main customer service telephone number for the bank(s) that you have an account with to find out what products they offer and how to obtain them. Alternatively, if you go to a branch in person, you may wish ask to speak to a manager about the range of products available.
Furthermore, we are able to accept International Money Orders issued by U.S. Postal Service.
Please make sure you have the correct fee amount ready when you contact them (check the information for the U.S. passport or citizenship service at https://uk.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/ to make sure) because the Foreign Bank Draft or International Money Order must be made out in the exact amount in U.S. dollars payable to the United States Disbursing Officer. We cannot accept a higher amount or give change.
A Foreign Bank Draft may also be known as a Foreign Draft, Teller’s Check, Banker’s Check or Cashier’s Check.
Can I send you my credit or debit card details another way to pay for my mail-in application? Can I pay with cash?
Sorry, no. We can’t accept payment by telephone, email or fax.
If you wish to pay by credit or debit card or with cash, you are required to schedule an appointment to apply in person.
Can I obtain payment from the United States?
Yes, provided that it meets the requirements listed on our website.
Can a friend or family member obtain the payment for me?
Yes. If a friend or relative can obtain a payment method exactly meeting the requirements listed on our website, they can send it to you for submission to the Embassy together with the other documents required in support of your passport application.
My bank is asking for additional information to issue the payment. What should I tell them?
If your financial institution has requested an address, you may give the Embassy’s address: Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London SW11 7US.
If you are asked for additional information such as the name of an individual, an account number, sort code or an IBAN number, this indicates that the suggested payment method does not meet the requirements to pay for your passport application.
I think I’ve found a payment method that meets the requirements but I’m not sure. Can you check?
If you believe the payment method meets the requirements after carefully reviewing the webpage for the passport service you are applying for and this webpage, you may submit it in support of your application. The consular officer will review your case at that time.
I can’t obtain Foreign Bank Draft or an International Money Order. What should I do?
If you can’t obtain either of the payment methods needed to apply by mail, you should book a passport appointment to apply in person. During the appointment, you can pay in cash (U.S. dollars or UK pounds sterling equivalent), or by credit or debit cards. Remember, these payment methods are only possible in person – do not send cash or card details by mail!
My application has been returned to me with a letter saying the payment was incorrect. What should I do now? What will happen to the payment method I submitted?
If we have contacted you to explain that we are unable to process your application as the payment you submitted was not an accepted payment method or was made out in the incorrect amount, your next step is either to submit an accepted payment method in the correct amount or schedule an passport appointment to apply in person.
The payment method that we were unable to accept will be returned to you once processing of your passport application is complete.
What if I can’t find an appointment before my travel date?
Appointments are released regularly so if no appointments are available when you first check, please check back periodically. If you reach three working days before your travel and you are still unable to obtain appointment, please contact us through our contact page and we can assist you then.
When scheduling an appointment, you may wish to note that U.S. passports can be renewed at any time before or after they expire. While we recommend that you renew your passport as soon as you are able to, if you have no imminent travel plans then you need not be concerned if the appointment takes place after the passport expires.
I will be booking an appointment to apply for a passport/Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) for my child. Can I submit my own passport renewal application at the same time?
Yes. If your passport service does not require an in-person appearance, you will not be required to book an appointment in your own name. You can submit your documents and pay for your application during your child’s appointment.
I cannot obtain an accepted payment method. Can someone else appear in person to submit my application?
If your passport service does not require an in-person appearance but you are unable to obtain an accepted payment method to apply by mail, it is possible for someone else to attend the Embassy to submit your documents and pay on your behalf. They would be required to schedule an appointment in their name, and bring a signed letter from you authorizing that person by name to submit the application on your behalf.
If your passport service does require an in-person appearance, it is not possible for someone else to appear on your behalf. You will be required to book and attend an appointment.