What to do if you lose your passport

Many of us have either been there or dreaded that moment when all your bags are packed but you can’t find your passport.

Whether you’re at home or on holiday it’s a stressful situation. Read on for some practical tips on what to do if this happens to you.

What to do first

  • First and foremost, if you’ve looked everywhere and really can’t find it – you need to report and cancel a lost passport as soon as you can.
  • If you’re unable to access the internet, someone else can report your passport as missing for you.
  • Once a passport is reported as lost or stolen, it’s cancelled and within 24 hours the National Crime Agency is informed. This is to stop any fraudulent activity involving the passport holder’s identity.

Replacing a lost passport

How much does it cost to replace a passport?


How long will it take to get a new passport?

  • It usually takes up to 3 weeks to get your passport, but it can take 6 weeks or longer during busier months.

I need a passport in a week

  • If you’re stuck, you can apply for a 1 week fast track replacement.
    • It costs £142 for an adult passport (or £152 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport) and £122 for a child passport (or £132 for a 50 page frequent traveller passport)
  • You need to get an application form from a post office then book an appointment online.
  • You’ll need the completed application form, 2 identical passport photos and any necessary supporting documents for the appointment.
  • If you can’t make the appointment, someone can go in your place with the required documents.
  • Appointments get booked up quickly so don’t assume you’ll get one at the last minute.

What if I lose my passport when I’m abroad?

  • You’ll need to complete an online form then print and sign it.
  • You then send or take the form to the nearest British Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, which are usually in the nation’s capital city.

What if I can’t wait for a new passport?

If you’ve lost your passport abroad and need to return to the UK or if you’re due to travel tomorrow, you can apply for an emergency travel document (sometimes known as an emergency passport)


Emergency passport

  • You can use this to travel through a maximum of 5 countries.
  • It costs £100 and will normally be ready 2 days after you apply.
  • You may need to collect the emergency travel document from the nearest British Consulate, which is usually in the nation’s capital city.
  • During the online application you need to add a photo of yourself. Using a mobile phone with which you can take the photos should make this easier.


Does travel insurance cover a lost passport?

Most travel insurance policies offer some cover for the costs of getting emergency travel documents while abroad. If your passport has been stolen, you’ll need a police report for the claim. You most likely won’t be covered for the cost of replacing your passport once back in the UK.

Our policy documents can be accessed here as levels of cover depends on which policy you take out.