Using and protecting your passport

How do I care for my passport?

Your passport is a valuable document. It proves your identity and Australian citizenship. Deliberately damaging your passport is a crime. If your passport is lost or damaged, you may not be able to travel. If it is lost or stolen, someone could use it to steal your identity or for other criminal purposes.

To keep your passport safe and secure:

  • Know where it is at all times.
  • Keep it dry.
  • Don’t alter it in any way.
  • Never allow anyone else to use it.

Be careful to not bend the cover back or you could damage the stitching that holds the passport together.

Ink from boarding passes can transfer to your passport photo page and obscure the details. It’s a good idea to keep your boarding pass away from your photo page.

Keep a photo or photocopy of your passport’s photo page, or at least a record of its number and expiry date. This can be useful for your own reference and in certain travel situations.

Can I list emergency contacts in my passport?

Yes. Your passport has a page where you can enter personal and emergency contact information. Use a pencil, so that you can update it if you need to.

What do I do if a travel provider wants to hold my passport? 

Cruise companies and hotels in some parts of the international travel industry have a practice of holding the passports of their clients. If you have concerns, raise them if possible before confirming your booking. You may be able to explore options such as providing a copy or scan instead of handing over your Australian passport.

What if I change my name?

If you change your name, you can keep using your current passport. We recommend booking your travel in the name that is in your passport.

You can apply for a new passport in your new name at any time.  Depending on your circumstances, you may have to pay the standard fee.