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ePassport Gates (Electronic Passport Gates)

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E-Passport Gates

All you need to know about ePassport Gates, including how you can use your ePassport, where they are accepted, and FAQs

Four airport gates

What are E-Passport Gates?

EPassport gates are automated self-service barriers. Eligible passengers with a biometric ‘chipped’ passport can use the automated ePassport gates as an alternative to using desks staffed by Border Force officers. This means passengers can avoid the queues and get through passport control much faster!

EPassport gates are operated by the United Kingdom's Border Force and located at immigration checkpoints in arrival halls in some airports across the UK.

The ePassport gates use facial recognition technology to verify a traveller's identity against the data stored in their biometric passport - the data is also run against numerous databases to determine whether each traveller is a security risk.

Picture of a woman walking through an airport terminal

Who is eligible to use E-Passport Gates?

To use the ePassport gates, passengers will need a ‘chipped’ biometric UK, EU, EEA or Swiss passport. Passengers also need to be aged 12 or over.

From May 2019, citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States who hold valid biometric passports are also eligible to use ePassport gates, as long as they are aged either 18 and over or 12 and over travelling with an adult.

Travellers with a valid biometric ePassport from Hong Kong and Taiwan who have enrolled in the Registered Traveller Service Program are also able to use ePassport gates, as long as they are aged either 18 and over or 12 and over travelling with an adult and holding valid biometric passports.

How to use EPassport Gates?

ePassport gates are automated and, instead of a border force officer, passengers are identified via a passport reader and camera, which checks the ‘chipped’ passport. Passengers will need to follow the signs to the ePassport gates and join the queue.

The gates use facial recognition technology to compare passenger’s faces with their photographs, and against the photograph and data stored on the passport ‘chip’. When the check is successfully, the gate opens automatically, allowing passengers to walk through.

EPassport Gate Locations Current Availability

There are now ePassport gates at all major airports in the UK. EPassport gates are currently available at the following airports:

  • Birmingham Airport
  • Bristol Airport
  • Cardiff Airport
  • East Midlands Airport
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Gatwick Airport
  • Glasgow Airport
  • Hamburg Airport
  • Heathrow Airport
  • London City Airport
  • Manchester Airport
  • Newcastle Airport
  • Stansted Airport

EPassport Gates FAQs

How do I know if my passport is biometric?

If your passport was issued from 2007, it is biometric. This means it has the embedded chip that contains your personal details and enables you to use ePassport gates. You can tell easily just by looking at the front cover, as there is an international symbol that can be used to identify biometric passports. Look below the word PASSPORT, if it features a rectangle bisected by a horizontal line, with a circle in the middle, this means that it is biometric.

Is it quicker to use ePassport gates?

Yes, using ePassport gates is significantly quicker than waiting in the long queues at non-UK/EU passport and border control.

How do I renew my Registered Traveller membership?

28 days before your membership expires, you'll receive an email from with details on how to renew your Registered Traveller membership.

How do I get a new passport?

If you are a UK resident and currently within the UK, and you have at least three weeks before you need to travel, you can apply for a passport renewal in the usual way. Go to the UK goverment's website to complete your application.