Lost or stolen passport

Identity theft

Each of us has a unique identity. In our modern, complex world it is more important than ever to protect it.

Your passport is a vital tool in proving your identity. Identity theft, where one person illegally claims to be another person, is a growing problem with serious consequences for our security at home and abroad. It is estimated to cost the Australian community around $1.5 billion a year.

Lost or stolen passports provide criminals with the opportunity to assume another identity, to travel illegally and to commit other crimes. The Australian Passports Act 2005 contains new measures to encourage Australians to protect their passports.

Preventing misuse

You are required by law to report the loss or theft of your passport as soon as possible.

Passports reported as lost or stolen will be immediately and permanently cancelled. A cancelled passport must not be used for travel. It is illegal to do so and heavy penalties apply.

Border control authorities in Australia and abroad will be notified when a passport is cancelled. They will be requested to confiscate any cancelled passport that comes to their notice.

These measures will help prevent the misuse of your lost or stolen passport.

In Australia, if your passport goes missing you can report it to us online or by calling 131 232.

Overseas, if your passport goes missing you can report it to us online or at the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission.

Recovered passports

If you recover a passport after reporting it lost or stolen, you must return it to the nearest passport office. If you are overseas, return it to an Australian diplomatic mission or consulate. The passport will be physically cancelled and may be returned to you on request. However, the cancelled document can no longer be used for travel purposes.

Under no circumstances should you try to use a passport that has been reported as lost or stolen for travel or identification.

Additional fee

To obtain a new passport, you will need to complete an application form and meet all the normal requirements. Make sure you complete section 10 of the application form, covering loss or theft, before you attend the interview.

You will need to pay a lost or stolen passport fee additional to the normal application fee. The amount of this additional fee will depend on the number of passports you have lost or had stolen in the previous five years.

You can confirm the number of passports you have lost or had stolen and the amount of the additional fee online or, if in Australia, by calling the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232. If overseas, this information can also be obtained by contacting the nearest Australian diplomatic or consular mission. This information cannot be provided at a passport interview.

Lost or stolen passport fee refunds

The lost or stolen passport fee may be refunded if:

  • you recover and personally return the passport that you reported as lost or stolen within three months of it being recorded as lost or stolen; 
    and
  • you apply for a refund within three months of that date;

                                                            OR

  • you apply for a refund within three months of a replacement passport being issued;
    and
  • the circumstances of the loss or theft were outside your control and were not due to your carelessness;
    and
  • you are not able to claim the loss or theft on any insurance policy.

Claims for refund must include:

  • full name, passport number, and date and place of lodgement of your application for a replacement passport;
  • supporting statement of compassionate circumstances;
  • confirmation that the circumstances of the loss or theft are not covered by an insurance policy;
  • the original police report describing the circumstances of any theft; and
  • bank details where any refund is to be deposited (available in Australia and some other locations) or address to which the cheque should be sent.
If the lost/stolen fee was paid in Australia, your refund application should be made in writing to:

The Manager
Australian Passport Office
GPO Box 9807
in your state or territory capital city.
 
If your lost/stolen fee was paid overseas, your refund application should be in writing to:

The Consul
Australian diplomatic or consular mission 
at which the lost/stolen fee was paid.
 
A reply will be despatched within 14 days of receipt of your application for a refund.

Please note that if the fee was paid overseas then your refund will generally be sent by cheque.

Fee Waiver

If you recover your passport within three months of having reported it as lost or stolen and you can produce it during your interview for a replacement passport, you will be eligible for a waiver of one lost or stolen fee, provided you had only one previous travel document lost or stolen in the preceding five years.