Expert insights

7 things you should know if you lose your passport

17 August 2017

We ask the manager for lost passports for Her Majesty’s Passport Office, Sarah Groves, on her tips on what to do should you lose your passport.

Losing your passport can be a nightmare – follow these simple tips on what to do to resolve this stressful situation as soon as possible.

1. If your passport is missing, report it as soon as you become aware of the loss or theft

UK passports that are not cancelled online are vulnerable to crimes such as identity theft.

2. Report a passport theft to the local police

You will be asked for the crime number when you report your passport as stolen.

3. Tell your company

A colleague can report a missing passport on your behalf. However, they must ensure that your contact details are provided, to enable the Passport Office to speak to you before cancelling it.

4. Get online

If your passport has been lost or stolen within the UK, then the quickest and simplest way to report it is online.

5. Act from overseas

If you need to report the loss or theft of your passport while overseas, you will need to fill in a form and then post, fax or take it to your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. Further advice, and the form, can be found on the government website.

6. Ask for an emergency travel document

The time taken to receive a new passport varies between countries. If you are overseas and cannot get a new passport in time, an emergency travel document might allow you to travel to your destination. Your travel plans will be printed on it, so if these plans change, you will need to apply for a new one. You may still need a visa to leave the country you are in or to travel through other countries.

And finally…don’t carry your passport on you – unless you have to!

In line with business traveller safety advice, when you are away on business and need an identity document, use another form of identification if possible – it will help keep your passport safe.

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