Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Passport application requirements
- How long does it take to get a passport?
- Why can't I lodge my application form online?
- Do I need to provide an original document or will a certified copy or extract do?
- Who can be the emergency contact person?
- I have a senior's card, can I have a concessional passport?
- I don't speak English well. Can I use an interpreter at my passport interview?
Using your passport
- Do I need six months validity left on my passport before I can travel from and then re-enter Australia?
- My passport is nearly full but is valid for another four years, is it possible to add extra pages?
- My passport has been lost or stolen. What should I do?
- How do I find information on whether I need a visa and how to get one?
- A member of my family died recently and their passport is not due to expire for some time. What should I do?
- I am a dual citizen. Are there any restrictions on what passports I may have or use?
- I misplaced my passport and it was handed in to the Passport Office and cancelled. Why can't it be reinstated?
- Information for reportable offenders
Whether you apply in Australia or overseas, you should allow approximately three weeks to get a new passport.
Your Australian passport is a valuable document that confirms your identity and citizenship. You must lodge your application in person so that we can verify your photo and identity evidence. We can also check that your application is complete and correct to minimise delays.
When you apply for an Australian passport you must provide original documents that confirm your Australian citizenship and your identity. Birth extracts, commemorative certificates, photocopies (including those that have been certified as a true copy) and fax copies are NOT acceptable.
An original document is one produced, and not altered by, the authority or organisation named on the document. A duplicate copy issued and certified as a true copy by the authority or organisation named on the original can be accepted as if it were an original document. A photocopy, even if certified, is not a duplicate copy.
You need to nominate an emergency contact when completing a passport application. Your emergency contact person can be anyone you choose. We recommend you nominate someone who is not likely to be travelling with you.
If you are completing your child's passport application, you might like to nominate a grandparent, other relative or close family friend rather than yourself or the child's other parent.
Your nominated emergency contact will help us contact you or your family in the event of an emergency, such as a cyclone or natural disaster.
Australians aged 75 and over can opt to have a five-year passport for half the cost of an ordinary 10-year passport.
If you are not fluent in English you can bring someone with you to your passport interview to interpret for you. This could be a family member or a friend. The Australian Passport Information Service (APIS) can also arrange an interpreter for your interview through the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) National at no cost to you. Please notify APIS that you will need an interpreter, giving as much notice as possible. To contact APIS with the assistance of a phone interpreter, call TIS on 131 450 (from overseas call +61 3 9268 8832).
APIS, or the passport interviewer, will ask for your permission for an interpreter, family member or friend to talk on your behalf. Once you have given permission, that person can continue to ask you questions and explain the process.
Do I need six months validity left on my passport before I can travel from and then re enter Australia?
You passport is valid from the date it is issued until the date it expires. You can use it throughout this period, subject to meeting the visa and immigration requirements of the countries you wish to visit or transit.
Some foreign governments require visitors to carry passports with at least six months validity beyond their planned stay. You may be refused entry if you do not comply.
Well before you travel, you should check the entry requirements of the countries you plan to visit or transit. Contact the foreign diplomatic and consular representatives of the country you wish to visit in Australia, or seek advice from your travel agent.
No. You will need to obtain a new passport.
If your passport has been lost or stolen, you must report this to us without delay. We will cancel your passport so it cannot be misused by anyone else.
You should seek advice from the governments of the countries your plan to visit or ask your travel agent.
A member of my family died recently and their passport is not due to expire for some time. What should I do?
If you report the details to us, we will cancel the passport to ensure it cannot be misused by another person. Take the passport and the original death certificate to an Australia Post passport agency. If you wish to retain the passport as a memento, we will return it to you after it has been cancelled.
All Australians including dual nationals should leave and enter Australia on their Australian passport. If you have a passport from another country, you can use that for travel once you have left Australia.
See Smartraveller for more information about dual citizenship and travel.
I misplaced my passport and it was handed in to the Passport Office and cancelled. Why can't it be reinstated?
When a passport has been reported to us as lost or stolen, or if it has been found by someone else and handed in, we immediately cancel it and inform Australian and international border authorities. This is to protect you against misuse by others of your passport – and your identity – by others. Cancellation is permanent and the passport cannot be reinstated.
Why was the application form I completed online rejected at interview?
There are strict printing requirements to ensure your application can be scanned into our system. For more details, see our printing requirements.
Why does my photo have to meet technical requirements?
When your passport photo meets the technical requirements, processing at borders becomes much more efficient, especially if you use an automated system such as SmartGate in Australia. If we were to accept a photo that does not meet our requirements, you may have difficulty at international borders. A good quality passport photo also reduces the potential for identity fraud, which protects you as you travel. Please do not attach the photos to your application form as this can damage them if not attached correctly.
Our detailed requirements for passport photos include examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos.
Can I check the progress of my application after lodging it?
Adult applicants in Australia
Log in to your account and check the Status of the application in My passports applications.
Child and overseas applicants
You can either:
- Log in to the application by entering your family name, given names, date and place of birth, your mother's maiden name and your previous passport number, as well as your application number (see screenshot below) and the date of lodgement; or
- Log in by obtain a tracking PIN - if you obtain a tracking PIN, you will be able to log in more easily using your application number and PIN only.
The application number is the nine character code made up of eight numerals and a one-letter suffix displayed on your application form.)
Your tracking PIN is case sensitive.
Alternatively, in Australia you call 131 232 toll free.
Outside Australia, contact the Australian diplomatic or mission or consulate where you lodged your application form.
I have a PIN so why can’t I login to check on the progress of my application?
The PIN you were issued when you began your application online will not enable you to track your application after you lodge it.
To track an application you will need a different PIN number known as a post-lodgement PIN (see above)
To obtain a post-lodgement PIN, log in to the system using your application number and confirm your identity when prompted.
Your post-lodgment PIN is case sensitive.
I cannot log in to the system because I cannot answer the security questions correctly.
Call 131 232.