General information

Passport application requirements

Using your passport

Optus data breach

Service NSW data breach

‘Dark web’ data breach

Troubleshooting

How long does it take to get a passport?

Whether you apply in Australia or overseas, you should allow a minimum of 6 weeks to get a new passport.

If you’re planning travel in the next six months, it’s best to apply for a passport now.

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.

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.

If I’m a dual national, can I depart/return to Australia on my foreign passport rather than my Australian one? 

The Department of Home Affairs advises Australian citizens to leave and enter Australia on an Australian passport. This includes dual nationals.

A passport generally affords you entry to the issuing country only.  You may experience issues returning to Australia on a foreign passport.  For example, airlines may not allow you to board a plane to Australia without evidence of Australian citizenship or an Australian passport.

If you have a passport from another country, you can use that after you leave Australia.  But you should also be aware that if you enter the country of your other nationality on that country’s passport, local authorities may not recognise you as an Australian citizen, which may limit the Australian Government’s ability to provide you with consular assistance.

For more information about travelling as a dual national, see Smartraveller.

More details on Australia’s entry and exit requirements can be found on the Australian Border Force website.

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@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.

‘Dark web’ data breach

How do you know that the Australian Passport Office wasn’t responsible for the breach?

As part of our analysis of the breach, we undertook a range of technical checks.

As a result of these checks, and through close consultation with IDCARE, we have established that the original source of the list is related to an airline data breach.

Have many Australian passport numbers are on the list?

From the list of over 83,000 records, we have identified over 11,000 Australian passport numbers.

Of this, a smaller proportion of less than 4,800 are current passport numbers.

Is it still safe for affected Australians to use their passport?

Yes, their passport is safe to use.

Could someone else get a passport in their identity?

No, we use robust controls that protect passports from identity takeover, including sophisticated facial-recognition technology.

Could someone use an affected Australian’s passport details to travel under their identity?

No, they would need the person’s actual passport, not just their passport details.

If an Australian’s passport has been lost or stolen, they should call us immediately on 131 232 so we can cancel their passport and protect it from any misuse.

How will the department help Australians affected by the breach?

We are notifying affected passport holders with further information and support services that include encouraging contact with IDCARE – a free government-funded service that provides support to Australians affected by identity theft.

Would affected Australian need to get a new passport?

This is a personal decision for them to make.

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

How do affected Australians make that decision?  What more can they 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:

  • the Australian Government’s Scamwatch website
  • 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
  • it can provide free advice and support to reduce your risks if your identity has been compromised.

If an affected Australian gets a new passport, will they have to pay for it?

Yes, if they choose to replace their passport, they will have to pay the application fee when they lodge their application.

Can they cancel their passport without getting a new one?

Yes, they can call us on 131 232 to cancel their passport. 

This will mean that it can’t be used for travel or identification purposes.

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.