Using and protecting your passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It proves your identity and citizenship. If your passport is lost or damaged, you may not be able to travel internationally. Furthermore, a lost or stolen passport has the potential to be misused for criminal purposes. To protect your passport:

  • know where it is at all times
  • do not alter it in any way, or allow another person to use it
    • to do so is an offence under the Australian Passports Act 2005
  • keep it safe and dry.

Useful advice

  • We recommend that you keep a photocopy of your passport or a record of its number and expiry date. This can be useful for your own reference and in certain travel circumstances.
    • Please note that the Australian Government has no arrangement to give authority to operators such as cruise companies or hotels to hold Australian passports, despite this being common practice in some parts of the international travel industry. If you have concerns, we suggest you raise these before confirming your bookings. In some circumstances, you may be able to explore options such as providing a copy or scan instead of handing over your passport.
  • If you write your personal and emergency contact information on the page specified for this purpose in your passport, do so in pencil so that the details can be changed if necessary.
  • If you change your name during the validity of your passport you may continue using your passport but we recommend booking your travel in the same name as shown in your passport. Alternatively, you can apply for a new passport. In some circumstances you can replace your passport at no charge.
  • When mailing your passport to obtain a visa, or for any other reason, we recommend that you use a form of registered post that enables you to track delivery. Include a self-addressed pre-paid registered post envelope to ensure your passport is returned to you securely.