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Lost or stolen passports

Lost or Stolen Passport

What do you do if you have a lost or stolen passport, besides panic???

One of the first things you need to do is have another look through all of your possessions, unless of course you are absolutely sure it’s been stolen!

Check your coat pockets, the back pockets of your pants, under the suitcase, in the suitcase, under magazines/books, all through your bag & carry-on, all nooks & crannies in your room, in the cupboards, in the drawers, under the pillow/mattress/bed, on the coffee table, on the desk! Then try retracing your footsteps to where you know you last saw your passport. Ask someone else to help you look for it. Two sets of eyes are better than one.

Whether the passport has been lost of stolen, you need to report it as soon as possible! Be aware that once your passport is reported lost/stolen it is cancelled. If it turns up later, you can’t use it. Also, you can’t cross borders without your passport so you’re pretty much stuck where you are. Be prepared for a wait.

If you’re overseas, report your passport lost or stolen via or contact your nearest Australian consulate or mission. If it was stolen you should also make a police report, especially if you were injured or mugged during the process.

Besides reporting the passport lost or stolen, always be prepared.

Before you leave home

Know your passport number! If you’re memory isn’t good, store it somewhere.

Photocopy your passport (or scan it) before you travel. Keep one copy in your suitcase, another copy on your person, and give a copy to someone at home for safe keeping.

Email yourself a copy of the scan.

Have other forms of ID with you, such as Drivers License, credit card, etc. Take copies!

If you have spare copies of your passport photo, take them with you. This will avoid having to look for a photographer if you need to get a new passport issued.  If you don’t have copies of your passport photo, have some taken on your way to the consulate office. This will speed up the application process once you get there.


We were travelling to Spain after having spent a lovely week at a villa in Tuscany. We had arrived in Barcelona and joined a queue at a ticket machine to buy a ticket for the bus into town. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Had we known ahead of time that we could buy the ticket on the bus, one of our travelling companions would not have ended up in the predicament he did.

Anyway, the machine was “broken”.  Gypsies!  They are very clever! Be warned, be vigilant, be prepared!! I think everyone in the queue was in on it, besides us!  So there we stood, people in the queue grumbling & complaining about the machine not working, bus coming, starting to panic, when someone pushed through the queue, knocking over our travelling companions suitcase. In the process of picking up his belongings, his passport (and credit card) were stolen from his jacket pocket!  Just like that! It wasn’t until we were on the bus into town, approaching the drop off point, that he realised his passport was gone.

We were staying at different places, so we split up at this point. It was not until hours later that we made contact only to discover he had spent hours reporting his passport & credit card stolen, contacting the consulate, the credit card company, and working out how he was going to get to Madrid to get the process rolling for an emergency passport to be issued.  It was a nightmare our companion could have done without.  While we relaxed & enjoyed all that Barcelona had to offer, he was off trying to resolve his Statelessness!  We had about 3 days until we were flying home, so time was of the essence.

Thankfully, the situation was resolved, a replacement passport issued, and we were able to fly home with our travelling companion. We were a little shell-shocked when we were at the airport trying to get through passport control when the officer behind the counter was spending an inordinate length of time looking at the emergency passport, looking at our friend, and back at the passport. Eventually the officer said: “I was just admiring how lovely the passport is!”

Ah yes, there are lots of lessons to learn here! But let’s just leave it at that!

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