UK passports and driving licence photocards are valid for ten years. It is common for someone’s appearance to change during that time. Naturally, having alopecia can change our appearance more significantly than others. However, you are not required to get a new passport or driving licence before it expires.

You are still able to travel with a passport if you do not bear a close resemblance to your photo. Customs staff will look at your features such as your eyes, nose and mouth. If questioned, you can simply explain you have alopecia.

If you are nervous or anxious about such interactions, you may wish to consider applying for a new passport with an updated photo. You can apply for a new passport before your current one expires.

If renewing a passport or driving licence and your appearance has changed significantly between passport photos, you may need to get someone else to sign (a countersignatory) to confirm your identity. The application form will explain this.