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What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

Written by: Russell Wallace | Travel Insurance Expert
Last updated: 14 May 2024 | Created: 12 July 2023

Making sure your passport is safe and sound is one of the most important things you can do on holiday. But what should you do if your passport is lost or stolen while you’re away?

The first thing you need to do is report your missing passport. Even if you don’t know if it has been stolen, you must report it to the local police immediately. You’ll need the crime number to complete the LS01 form, which notifies the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the loss.

Once you’ve filled out the LS01 form, you’ll need to choose the best option for you.

  • Apply for an Emergency Travel Document (ETD). This is a special document supplied by the FCDO which allows, under certain circumstances, you to travel without a passport. It is only valid for a single journey, and you will need to pay a £100 application fee.
  • Request a new passport. You can also request a new passport when you are abroad. However, this will still take 3-6 weeks to arrive, which is only practical if you are on a longer trip.

If you apply for an ETD, you might need to visit the nearest British consulate. The document usually takes 2 working days to be processed.

Once you have returned to the UK, you should apply for a new passport as standard if you didn’t request one while overseas.

Tips for protecting your passport

Prevention is better than cure, and that’s especially true with losing your passport.

Save on the worry, inconvenience and cost of a replacement passport with these tips to keep your travel documents safe.

  • Keep your passport safe in your accommodation. If your room has a safe, use it to keep your important details secure. Carrying a photo ID is recommended abroad, but a driver’s licence or a photocopy of your passport will suffice.
  • Carry copies of your passport. Before you leave, make a couple of copies of your passport and keep them in different locations. One in your suitcase, the other in your hand luggage. You could also email a copy to a trusted friend or family member for use in an emergency.
  • Don’t let anyone look after your passport for you. While having one person in your group take care of everyone’s passports can be tempting, it’s better if you all take responsibility for your own.

Remember that costs incurred in replacing your passport are covered under your AllClear Travel Insurance policy, so remember to buy your cover as soon as you book your trip.