What Happens If I Lose My Passport?


What should I do if my passport is lost or stolen while I'm on holiday? Beth Stone, Leeds

Our Answer

Losing your passport or having it pinched while on holiday is a traveller's worst nightmare. Although the situation is serious, its not the end of the world though. The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath, calm down and then follow these steps - as quickly as possible:

1. Report It To The Police: Before you do anything else go straight to the nearest police station and file an incident report. You will need a police report for two very important reasons:

  • The British Embassy will not issue you with a new/replacement travel document without a police report
  • Your travel insurance policy will not reimburse you for costs incurred without a police report

2. Go To The Nearest British Embassy: Once you have filed a police report, head to the nearest British embassy to get the necessary paper work. This includes an LS01 form, which cancels your current passport and prevents crooks from using it for identity theft - one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. You will find a full list of embassies and location-specific instructions around the world on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office website or on our FCO Widget.

Emergency Travel Documents: In the event of an emergency (like your flight home leaving that afternoon), travel documents can be issued for those who need to fly home immediately. For an emergency passport to be issued, you will still need some form of identification and a police report - for security reasons. This is not a replacement passport though - it will only be valid for your flight home.

Travel Insurance

Certain travel insurance policies will cover your passport in the event of it being stolen. The Essential Plus and Superior Policy offer this service, as part of our personal baggage cover. Make sure you know what coverage you are getting before purchasing a travel insurance policy - especially if you need specific cover for your passport.

What If I Lose My Passport Before Going On Holiday?

If you lose your passport while still on British soil, log on to the Direct Gov website for a full list of instructions.

Last Updated: January 2011