HMP Birmingham, Visits and getting there

Visits are held at the following times:

  • Mon: 09:15 – 11.45 & 14.00 – 16:00
  • Tue: 09:00 – 10.00, 10.45 – 11.45 & 14.00 – 16.00 & 18:00 – 19:30
  • Wed: 09:15 – 11:45, 14.00 – 16.00 & 18:00 – 19:30
  • Thu: 09:00 – 10.00, 10.45 – 11.45, 14.00 – 16.00 & 18:00 – 19:30
  • Fri: 09:00 – 11:45, 14.00 – 16.00
  • Sat & Sun: 08:30 – 09:45, 10.15 – 11.45 & 14:00 – 16:00


Prisoners book visits through the residential units system. You can no longer book visits by phone or e-mail, and this means that the prisoner will have to inform you when he has booked the visit.

The Visitors Centre is situated on the opposite side of the road to the prison about 200 yards from the main prison gate and this is where you go for registration. Please try to arrive at least twenty minutes prior to the starting time of your visit, to ensure that the entry searching process does not delay the start of your visit. In the Visitors’ Centre you will need to collect your Visiting Order (VO) and acceptable form of identification. Adult visitors will also be enrolled within the Visitor Registration Scheme (VRS) and all visitors will have their hand stamped with an identification mark.

ONE of the following forms of identity is acceptable.

  • Passport – including foreign and time expired passports where the photograph is still recognizable.
  • Photo bearing driving licence
  • Senior citizen Public Transport Pass issued by the local authority
  • Employer’s or student ID card (only if this clearly shows the name of the visitor and the employer or educational establishment, and has a photograph or signature which can be compared with the visitor’s appearance or signature, and if the employer or educational establishment named on the card is known to exist
  • EC Identity Card

If the visitor is unable to produce one of the above, staff will accept combinations of two or more of the following:

  • Marriage or Birth Certificate
  • Rail or bus pass with photo
  • Benefits book
  • Cheque book or debit/credit card – (counts as one, they not accept as two forms of ID)
  • Employers or student ID card (if not acceptable as above)
  • Young persons ‘Proof of Age’ card with photograph
  • Trade Union or National Student Union Membership card with photograph
  • Library card, if it has a signature that can be compared with the visitors signature
  • Rent book/card
  • Foreign ID card or residents card (other than EC cards which are acceptable in their own right
  • Expired documents from the above lists that appear satisfactory in other ways
    Prison pass

The prison staff also require identification for children (under 18). All visitors under 18 years of age must have full original birth certificate with their parent’s names on. The short version of the birth certificate will not be sufficient. The child or young person must be visiting their parent or be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian. If the birth certificate is not available visitors under 18 years of age visiting with their legal guardian must have Legal Documents to prove the guardianship (e.g. sworn affidavit or court papers).

For persons under the age of 18 to visit one of the following must apply:
1. They are the child of the prisoner they are visiting and this is shown on the birth certificate.
2. They are the brother or sister of the prisoner and are accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.
3. They are the child of one of the visitors (accompanying visitor must be over 18 years of age)

No visitor will be refused entry without reference to the visits manager on duty. The Director has the discretion to accept any form of identification that clearly identifies the visitor in a satisfactory way. No children or young people under 18 years of age are allowed to visit within the first seven days of the prisoner entering the establishment. It is the responsibility of the visitor to provide the required proof of relationship before the child will be allowed to visit.

Social visitors are not permitted to take hand baggage beyond the Visitors’ Centre. At this point you will also be informed of the maximum amount of money that you may take into the prison for the purpose of purchasing light refreshments during your visit. Lockers are available at the Visitors Centre should you wish to use them (£1 coin deposit)

Once registered, you will be called forward to the Entry Building Visitors’ Entrance for searching. Your identification will be rechecked and you will be directed across to the Visits Hall. All visitors to HMP Birmingham are searched on entry to the prison. Manual searching by staff will be supplemented by the use of the usual equipment and may include a drug detection dogs. After searching you will UV hand stamped, and all visitors will then move to the Visits Hall. The Visiting Order (VO) will be handed to the Visits Supervisor, and you will be directed to a pre-selected and numbered table.

The Visits Hall is designated a non-smoking area in the interests of public health. Signs to this effect will be prominently displayed. No tobacco products should be carried into visits by prisoners or visitors. The only items visitors will be allowed to take with them to the prison on a visit are loose change to use in the drinks machine, a locker key (if a locker has been used), a house key, a car key and visitors identification.

Transport to the Prison

If you want to plan your journey on public transport visit the the traveline web site (click here). It is an excellent way to plan your visits.

 Birmingham Prison is located within 2 miles of the city centre.

Public Transport: take a train to Birmingham New Street Station NOT Birmingham International. The prison is approximately five miles from Birmingham New Street Station. From there the journey can be completed either by taxi or by bus.  The prison can also be reached by the metro that runs between Wolverhampton and Snow Hill, Birmingham. Alight at Winson Green, and it’s a five-minute walk.
By car:
From the north and north west: M6 to Junction 8. Join the M5 southbound. Leave M5 at Junction 1. Turn left onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the seventh set of traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.

From the north east: To the A38 and continue down the ‘Aston Expressway’ – A38 (M). Turn off second left, up the slip road to Dartmouth Circus (a large roundabout). Turn right taking the third exit (signposted A41 West Bromwich). Continue through 2 sets of road traffic lights along New John Street West. At the roundabout take the third exit down to Hockley Circus. At the flyover turn right onto the A41 towards West Bromwich. Continue through several sets of traffic lights and turn left onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.

From the south east: to Junction 8. Onto M6 southbound to Junction 1. Turn left onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the seventh set of road traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.

From the south west: M5 to Junction 1. Turn right onto the A41 towards Birmingham. At the seventh set of road traffic lights turn right onto the A4040 (Boulton Road). The prison is approximately one mile away on the left-hand side of the road.

Parking: There is a car park for visitors with provision for disabled drivers


Return to HMP Birmingham

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