Lost your passport? Here’s what to do

Find out how to deal with a lost or stolen passport.

Your Australian passport is a valuable document – not just to you but to those who might misuse it. The experience of losing your passport or it being stolen while travelling, is the stuff of nightmares. So, in order that you don’t lose your head should the worst should happen, we provide you with the steps to take if you lose your passport.

Before you go
Before you set off on your trip, take a photo or photocopy of the main page of your passport, which has your photo and details. Email this to yourself and someone you trust, preferably a family member. Consider printing off a couple of copies to keep in your luggage too. If you are overseas when your passport is lost or stolen, then a photocopy could help you out of some sticky situations. 

If you are in Australia
There are two options available if your passport is lost or stolen while you are in Australia: You can either report the incident online or call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232. By law, you are required to report the loss or theft of your passport. Reporting a lost or stolen passport online or over phone requires you to confirm your identity and then discuss the circumstances of the loss. When you report a lost or stolen passport online, you will be asked to cite your passport number, so having a photograph or photocopy handy will be helpful. Note: once your passport has been reported lost or stolen, it will be made permanently invalid, so if you happen to find it later you won’t be able to use it.  

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

If you are overseas
If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, it is important that you report it as soon as possible. You can choose to report it online or you can head to 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, prove your citizenship, pay the application fee and pay the appropriate lost/stolen passport fee.  

If you need to travel soon after you’ve lost your passport, you can be issued an emergency passport, which will help you get on a plane home or to your next destination. However, this passport is only valid for up to 12 months and its use may be restricted in some countries. If you don’t need to travel soon, a standard passport can be hastily produced in Australia and transferred to you.

If you find a passport
If you find a lost 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.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    The Bronze Anzac
    11th Jan 2016
    If you are travelling overseas, especially by air, it is best to have a photo copy of your passport with your carry-on cabin luggage. PLUS photo copies of important documents, like passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, visas, driver licence, work permits & credit cards, etc, all in an A4 size display book, in your larger declared baggage.
    18th May 2019
    I have a scanned copy of my ID on my phone (which has to be 'unlocked' by a pass code to get access). This includes my driver licence, passport, pension concession card & birth certificate.

    If you want an actual size copy of your cards, then when you're scanning them, choose the size of the card in the document properties of the scanner, then off you go and scan to your heart's delight :)
    11th Jan 2016
    Back in 2010 my family of five were in the transit lounge of Kuala Lumpur's budget carrier terminal waiting to board our direct flight back to Australia. I was walking around cradling our sleeping 2 yr old son when I felt a soft tap on on my shoulder. Turning, I saw the polite smile of a Terminal security guard & he asked if what he was holding belonged to me. It was my son's passport which he had witnessed dropping out of my backpack's outer pocket;
    (didn't even realise it was partially unzipped) at the customs counter after our arrival in K.L. from the Philippines.

    That guard had spent considerable time searching for us to return the pasport, needless to say I was most grateful, expressed it appropriately & sincerely complemented him on his honesty. We have travelled a few times since then & I now triple check to ensure all passports are safely secured in appropriate fashion. I do agree that having photocopies of your passport's 1st page details is a handy, if not essential fall back possie when it come to experiencing a lost or worse, stolen genuine article.

    Cheers everyone.
    11th Jan 2016
    In 2010 I renewed my passport and forwarded it to the Laos Embassy in Canberra for a travel visa. They returned the PP and visa by priority post, but i did not receive it. The shipping number was tracked back to my local mail sorting centre, but it was never delivered to me. I reported it as lost, to Australia Post and DFAT. Australia Post were the typical bureaucracy, fobbing me off and saying it was not their responsibility, as it was delivered. They stonewalled me and took little interest in the apparent theft within their system. I have heard an Aussie passport is worth a considerable sum of money on the black market. Worse was yet to come. I had to apply for a new Passport (I think $375.00 at the time), was issued with a $70.00 fine for "me losing my PP" and..... a letter of warning that if i ever lose it again, I might not be reissued a new one! They had no interest whatsoever, in how or where it had been lost. So, $820 later, I had a valid passport that I am too nervous to let out of my sight. It has affected my travels as I will not travel anywhere I need a visa that requires me to lodge my application at an Embassy (entrusting them, or Australia Post with my PP). This was the only PP incident I have had in more than 30 years and I was put on notice by DFAT. I dread the thought of what might happen if I lose it when i am OS.

    11th Jan 2016
    If you lose your passport just re-enter the country as a refugee and you will get lots of free stuff, no questions asked, and the government will pandered to your every wish.
    11th Jan 2016
    Amen to that!
    11th Jan 2016
    Especially IF you want to spend the next 10 years in Papua New Guinea being held in a prison whereby the corporate guards have a tendency to rape and bash you.

    Yeah.... you mean all that 'free' stuff and I saw how Dutton pandered to the women that was raped by Australia's appointed corporate guards and then LIED about her not wanting an abortion and sent her back to those same corporate guards for more of the same, just so the government could avoid a court action in Australia. Yeah, I can see how they pander to refugee's every wish!

    Bit warped especially when another ends with a CHRISTIAN prayer ending.... not very Christian at all, really and certainly lacks all compassion or awareness of the cruelty and despair and hardship that refugees are suffering at the hands of our fascist style neo con government!
    11th Jan 2016
    Mussitate you don't really believe all that garbage surely?

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