What To Do If Your Passport Is Lost or Stolen Abroad

Around 80 people every day apply for Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) abroad after losing their passport, finding it is stolen, or discovering that it has expired. That is close to 29,000 a year! As well as being a huge inconvenience, replacing a passport can be costly. Here are some eye opening facts and figures, plus essential advice if you find that you are suddenly without your passport while in a foreign country.

If your passport is lost or stolen you should take the following steps immediately:

  • Report it to the local police
  • Get a crime reference number – you will need this to get a new passport
  • Report the loss or theft to the British Embassy
  • Fill in an LS01 form – available from the Embassy or online

What happens next?

You passport will be cancelled so that no one else can use it. This means that if you misplaced your passport and you find it again, you won’t be able to use it. You MUST hand it in to the passport office!

Next you will be issued your ETDs (emergency travel documents). This can take a few days, and will cost money. This is usually covered by your travel insurance.

Bear in mind that you may also need to replace any visas you had for your journey, and you may even have to rearrange your journey. These are added costs you could do without, but circumstances that can be covered with comprehensive travel insurance.

Lost and Stolen Passport Facts*

  • Lost passports cost Brits £5m per year
  • More than a fifth of all ETDs are issued in Spain
  • Barcelona’s pickpockets are responsible for over 1,000 lost passports
  • In Australia, a rising number of ETDs are issued for passports that have expired


What you can do

Quite simply, you could take extra care of your passport while you are away, and make sure you have the information you need should your passport get lost or stolen.

  • Keep your passport in a locked safe
  • Use a photocopy as ID when going out
  • Make a photocopy of your passport, or email yourself the details
  • Save the number of the British Embassy at your destination
  • Check the expiry date
  • Check the entry requirements of your destination, some places require passports are valid for 6 months after the date you travel

You should also make sure that your travel insurance covers you for any costs incurred as a result of losing your passport or having it stolen. Find out more about travel insurance on our website, or call 01892 833338 to speak to an advisor.

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