Having your passport stolen or lost while away can not only ruin your holiday but cause a lot of additional problems and worry. However, it's important to keep calm, and remember that things can be resolved and you will still be able to return home. Follow our four key steps to make the best out of a bad situation... and as quickly as you can!
Step 1: Report it!
The first thing you should do is make a statement and report it to the police. This step is very important as:
Step 2: Visit the Nearest British Embassy!
The next step is to find the nearest British Embassy to fill in a LS01 form to cancel your old passport. This will help to stop thieves using it for identity theft or other criminal activity. You will also be asked to fill out the paperwork needed to apply for a temporary passport so that you can return home at the end of your trip.
Tip: Before you leave home to start your trip, it is a good idea to make a note of the location and telephone details of your nearest British Embassy (local to where you are staying or visiting). This is a sensible 'just in case' procedure that will help to make the whole process that little bit quicker. The full list of British Embassies in all countries can be found at the FCO website.
Step 3: Get Emergency Travel Documents!
You will need your police report and a form of identification when applying for a temporary passport. However, remember that this will only be valid for your return flight - a permanent replacement passport can be applied for when you return home.
Tip: Keep your driving license or other form of identification in a shirt or front trouser pocket. This is particularly helpful if your bag gets stolen, and will ensure that you still have a form of identification on you. The key is to plan ahead and to always expect the unexpected!
Step 4: Tell Your Travel Insurance Provider!
It is important to let your travel insurance provider know about your lost or stolen passport as soon as is possible to avoid any invalidation of a claim. Make sure you read your travel insurance policy before you set out on your trip to make sure you are purchasing the correct cover for your individual needs.
Remember! If you are outside of the UK and have your passport stolen or lose it, the procedure will be different depending on where you are.
If you are in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia or Sweden contact the Identity and Passport Services (IPS) in the UK.
If you are currently in another country to the ones listed above contact the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK. You will need to fill out a form and send it back to the UK with your supporting documents and two passport sized photos (It is helpful to have these taken before you depart for your trip, just in case). The form can be found here. The requirements can be foundhere.
Renewing your passport while abroad can take at least 4 weeks whereas replacing a lost or stolen passport can take at least 6 weeks, possibly longer. You will also need your original supporting documents (you will have to ask someone to post them to you!) and will be required to attend an interview where you are staying. The replacement fees are much higher abroad too!
Tip: We strongly recommend checking that your passport will be valid for the entire duration that you intend on staying before commencing your trip. Your travel insurance will not cover the cost of a lost or damaged passport. Avoid having your passport stolen by keeping it locked in a secure hotel safe.
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