14th May 2013

What to do if you lose your passport

Rachel Tyler Jones

Find out how to deal with a lost or stolen passport now, so that if the worst should happen you aren’t trying to figure it out through the haze of panic.

Step to take today, right now, this second
Go and find your passport, take a photo or photocopy the page with your photo on it and email it to yourself and someone you trust, preferably a family member. You can also print a copy of the photo and store it somewhere quite separate to your passport. If you are overseas when your passport is lost or stolen then this photocopy could help you out of some sticky situations.

If you are in Australia
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are in Australia, you have two options. You can either report the incident online or call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232. If you are going to report your passport lost or stolen online you will need to know your passport number. If you have a photograph or photocopy of your passport then this won’t be difficult. In either case you will be asked to confirm your identity and then discuss the circumstances of the loss.

Replacing your passport in Australia
If you wish to apply for a replacement passport you will need to complete a New Passport Application form, provide details of the lost or stolen passport, attend an interview, pay the application fee and pay the appropriate lost/stolen passport fee.

If you are overseas
If you are overseas when your passport is lost or stolen it is vital that you report it immediately. You can either report it online or at the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.  To replace your passport you will need to complete an Overseas Passport Application form, provide details of your old passport, attend an interview, pay the application fee and pay the appropriate lost-stolen passport fee. 

Report a found passport
If you find an Australian Passport, either in Australia or overseas, you should send it to the Passport Office in your Australian capital city, or return it to the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.  

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22nd May 2013
If any one needs a UK Passport ,forms must be downloaded from the Internet.Some selected Australian Post Offices are authorised to take applications.Use the same coloured pen(black) on all forms ,incluing photos,no exceptions.if your application is rejected by UK Passpots office you lose your fee,which is almost $400
22nd May 2013
If you are travelling overseas and have a visa in your passport, photocopy the page with your photo on it AND photocopy the visa page. In countries requiring a visa in the first place, if your passport is lost or stolen then the replacement passport will also need a new visa before you can leave the country. Having a photocopy of the visa page can often make this process easier. Remember to keep the photocopied pages separate from where your passport is kept.
22nd May 2013
This does not always work, we had our passports stolen on the plane when we landed in Bali a few years ago. The Indonesion immigration officers would have no bar of photocopies. To cut a long story short, the australian consular general personally got involved , and we were allowed into the country. It may help in some cases, but it certainly didn't help us one iota.
22nd May 2013
Rufus, the photocopies you had certainly did help you in the situation in which you found yourself! Without that photocopy, the Indonesian authorities would likely have put you on the next plane back to Australia!! That would have been the end of your holiday before it even began!
By having the photocopies, The Australian Consul was able to assist you, most likely quite a few phone calls were made back to your point of departure to confirm you did pass through Immigration in Australia and had valid passports when you boarded the plane to Bali. The Consul would also have been able to ascertain from your photocopies that all was true and correct on the photocopies! No person anywhere in the World would be allowed to enter a foreign country on a photocopy alone! Consular assistance would be required as it was in your situation.
23rd May 2013
I am sorry, but, the Indonesion authorities would not allow us any excess to our suitcases except to get vital medication. under no circumstances did they allow us to get the photo copies out of our suitcases. If it had not been for our daughter and son-in-law who rang Canberra we would not have received any leeway by the Indonesian Imigration people. Only direct intervention by Australian Consular Officials coming direct to the airport stopped us beeing sent to Melbourne( by the way we had to pay for the tickets)
23rd May 2013
Ah! I was "assuming" you had the photocopies on your person, in your wallet/handbag, not in locked suitcases. My apologies for wrong assumption on my part!
Very tricky/difficult/worrying and frightening situation in which you found yourselves.
24th May 2013
I guess the upshot of all this , is to wonder why people would bother going to Indonesia in the first place - unless you had rocks in your head. Much better and safer places to spend a holiday one would think.
23rd May 2013
Another tip, if you think you have lost/misplaced your passport at home, unless you are in a super hurry take the time to look for it properly! Time and time again people ring in a panic to report it lost and find the passport 10 minutes later or the next day. Once its reported lost it is voided immediately and cannot be restored to valid status. The penalty phase for a "lost" passport lasts for 5 years, eg if you lose a 2nd passport in that 5 year period you'll be paying 2 lost/stolen fees and that gets expensive!

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