Reporting A Lost Passport - What to do
UK travellers spend almost £5 million every year in emergency travel documents (ETD) the cost of replacing lost and stolen passports this includes: the extra cost of travel, time wasted and of course including the inconvenience. Many of these lost or stolen passports happen while people are already abroad on holiday's and business trips which can cause havoc for your return journey, and with half of British families getting away this Summer there are thousands of people scrambling to get home and many more people that have these problems here at home before they even leave.
In recent years there has been a big change in the way in which we report lost or stolen passports, and it's important to be aware of any and all changes to do with passports, especially if you are travelling within the next 4 weeks. We are going to be looking at what you need to do if your passport is lost or stolen at home and abroad.
Lost or stolen passport in the UK
Until recently if you had your passport stolen or it was lost you would use an LS01 form to inform The Passport Office so they could cancel your passport. This has now changed. If you have lost your passport or it has been stolen in the UK you can now report this either online or by phone.
You can quickly and easily report a lost or stolen passport online this applies to UK passport holders only. This process is quick and easy and should be completed by the passport holder of the guardian of the child, if it is a child's passport.
Reporting this information online makes the whole process a lot quicker and more efficient, you can also fill it in on the go as and when you have time. This means that you can then move forward with applying for a replacement passport before you travel. HM Passport Office has moved most of their processes online and this has significantly improved their service as well as cutting down waiting times.
If you would rather speak to someone and report your passport lost or stolen you can also contact The Passport Office by telephone.
Telephone: 0300 222 0000
From outside the UK: +44 (0)300 222 0000
Textphone: 18001 0300 222 0222
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Weekends and public holidays, 9am to 5:30pm
Again, this is much quicker the using the old paper form. However, you may experience long waiting times during peak season and peak times of the day, which may be difficult on the go or if you have a busy schedule.
Lost or stolen passport abroad
If you are currently living abroad or happen to be abroad when your passport is lost or stolen you now need to report your passport lost or stolen online and cancel your passport. You can either fill in this form online or if you are experiencing difficulties you can go to the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate and they will assist you in cancelling your passport and obtaining emergency travel documents.
If you are unsure of where your nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate is you can find everything you need right here which lists every office around the world. Also, this is great to have in case of emergency, as a British Citizen this is a safe place where you can go and get any help you may need whilst abroad.
Replacing your lost or stolen passport in the UK
Once your current lost or stolen passport has been reported you then need to think about replacing it. You can do this in a couple of different ways depending on your circumstances. Finding the best and most suitable option for you is very important, if you don't make the right choice it may delay travel or holiday plans and possibly lose money.
Replacing your passport - No travel plans
If you haven't got any holidays or business trips booked and you have no upcoming travel plans in the next 4 weeks then the best option for you is to apply in paper form.
You can either collect an application form from your local Post Office fill it in completely and correctly and return it to The Passport Office or you can apply for your passport online which is very quick and easy to do in just a few steps.
The average waiting time for a passport using the standard service is about 3 weeks, but if you are applying during peak season, Summer holidays, Easter, Christmas, then the waiting time dramatically jumps up to about 6 weeks and sometimes longer.
Replacing your lost or stolen passport - With travel plans
If you do have upcoming travel plans, especially if they are in the next 4 weeks we strongly recommend customers using the urgent service.
7-day Fast-Track service
This has a guaranteed 7-day turnaround, but you must ensure you have completed your application correctly, have two current valid passport photos and any supporting documents you may need. Failure to do so may increase waiting times and possibly require another appointment.
You can attend appointments at any of the following Passport Office locations Belfast, Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough. These passport appointments can get booked up very quickly, so if you would like to make your appointment now, you can apply online for your passport
Can I use the 1-day premium service?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. HM Passport Office will allow some customers to use the 1-day Premium service but this is in extreme circumstances only. If you have a medical emergency or you have suffered a bereavement you may be eligible for this service, but, you will need to contact HM Passport Office to clarify the situation and they will then decide if you qualify for this service or not.
Do you need an emergency travel document while abroad?
You can apply for an emergency travel document if all the following apply:
• you're a British national
• you're outside the UK
• your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
• you do not have time to renew or replace your passport before you travel
• you can provide proof of your travel plans, for example booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you cannot book ahead)
What does emergency travel document let you do?
You can use an emergency travel document to travel to your destination through a maximum of 5 countries. You can also normally use it to return to the country you're applying from if you live there.
Your travel plans (countries and dates) will be printed on your emergency travel document. If you change your travel plans once you have your emergency travel document, you'll need to apply for a new one.
You may need a visa to leave the country you're in or to travel through other countries with your emergency travel document. Check with the embassy or consulate of each country.
If your final destination is the UK, border staff will keep your emergency travel document when you arrive. Border staff at a different final destination might also keep the document.
Apply for emergency travel document online
You can apply online it costs £100 to apply for an emergency travel document. The fee is not refundable. You can pay online as part of your application. If you do not, you'll be asked to pay over the phone.
You might need to attend an appointment at your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate after you apply online. You'll be told after you've submitted your application whether you need an appointment.
You'll need to give a contact telephone number and email address as part of your application.
*Note: You can only use this service if you are currently abroad, if you are in the UK you must use the services listed above.
How to keep your passport safe
Once you have your new replacement passport you definitely want to keep it safe and, of course, if you want to avoid all of the hassle of a lost or stolen passport in the first place, here's some tips for you and your passport.
• Keep all your family's passports together
• Try using a small lock box you can keep in a safe place
• Remember where your 'safe place' is
• If you are moving house be sure that one person is in charge of your passports, important documents and other valuables
Abroad / When Travelling
• Always make photocopies - take these with you out and about rather than the original
• Keep all passports in one place
• Always use the hotels safe where possible
• If you do not have a safe create a safe place to keep them
• If you do have to take your passport out with you ensure you keep a close eye on it and the bag you are carrying
Hopefully all of this information will help you not only report and replace your lost or stolen passport but also avoid it happening in the first place.
You can book your appointment online
Need more information?
Talk to the Passport Office team
Lines open 9am-5:30pm
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