Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Passport application requirements

Using your passport

Service NSW data breach

Troubleshooting


How long does it take to get a passport?

Whether you apply in Australia or overseas, you should allow approximately three weeks to get a new passport.

If you need to travel urgently, you may be able to use our priority service for an additional fee.

Do I need to provide an original document or will a certified copy or extract do?

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.

Who can be the emergency contact person?

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.

Do I need six months validity left on my passport before I can travel from and then re enter Australia?

Your 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.

My passport is nearly full but is valid for another four years. Is it possible to add extra pages?

No. You will need to obtain a new passport.

My passport has been lost or stolen. What should I do?

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.

How do I find information on whether I need a visa and how to get one?

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.

I am a dual citizen. Are there any restrictions on what passports I may have or use?

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 identity.  Cancellation is permanent and the passport cannot be reinstated if you find it again.

Service NSW data breach

I received advice from Service NSW about a data breach involving my passport details.  Is it a scam?

It’s not a scam.  Service NSW is managing a recent data breach and is notifying affected clients. 

You can find more information on Service NSW website.

Is it still safe to use my passport?

Yes, your passport is safe to use.

Could someone else get a passport in my identity?

No.  We use robust controls that protect your passport from identity takeover, including sophisticated facial recognition technology.

Could someone use my passport details to travel in my identity?

No.  They would need your actual passport, not just your passport details.

If your passport has been lost or stolen, you have to call us immediately on 131 232 so we can cancel your passport and protect you from any misuse.

Do I need to get a new passport?

This is a personal decision for you to make.

If you feel concerned about your current passport, you can renew it at any time in the usual way.

How do I make that decision?  What more can I do? 

Personal information that’s been compromised can be misused, so it’s important to understand the risks of identity fraud and how to spot them.

There’s a range of official information available on what to do if your identity has been compromised:

We also recommend the services of IDCARE.  You can contact them on their toll-free number, 1800 595 160 or via their website - www.idcare.org.

IDCARE is a not-for-profit organisation established to support the Australian community in responding to identity theft.  IDCARE can provide free advice and support to reduce your risks if your identity has been compromised.

If I get a new passport, will I have to pay for it?

Yes.  If you choose to replace your passport, you’ll have to pay the application fee when you lodge your application.

Why do I have to pay to replace my passport when this wasn’t my fault?

We charge fees to cover the cost of a new passport.

We weren’t responsible for the data breach.

You can discuss your situation with Service NSW.  Detailed information is available online.  Or you can go in person to a Service NSW service centre, call them direct on 1300 137 162 from 7:00am to 7:00pm Monday to Friday, or write to them by email at privacy.hypercare [at] service.nsw.gov.au

Can I cancel my passport without getting a new one?

Yes, you can call us on 131 232 to cancel your passport.  This will mean that it can’t be used for travel or identification purposes.

What if I have a foreign passport?

You’ll need to contact a diplomatic or consular mission of the country that issued the passport.

Photos

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.

Access problems

I cannot log in to the system because I cannot answer the security questions correctly.

Call 131 232.