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A guide to lost and stolen passports

Just under 400,000 UK passports are reported lost or stolen each year, according to the Home Office. Read our guide on what you should do if you need to replace your passport abroad…

Patrick Ikhena From the Travel team
minute read

How do I replace my passport if I’m abroad?

If your passport is lost or stolen abroad, you can apply for an emergency travel document. This allows you to travel to your destination through a maximum of five countries. The countries and dates you’re travelling to will be printed on your emergency travel document. If your travel plans change, then you’ll need to apply for a new one.  

To be eligible to apply you must be a British national. You must also be abroad with proof of your travel plans and unable to replace your passport before you travel.  


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How do I apply for an emergency travel document?

You can apply for an emergency travel document online after you’ve reported your passport as stolen or lost. This will cost £100 and is non-refundable.  

It’s likely you’ll need to visit the British embassy, high commission or consulate. If you’ve applied online you’ll be notified of where your appointment will be. If you can’t apply online, then go straight to the British embassy or consulate with your relevant documents.  

An emergency travel document will normally be ready for you to collect two working days after your appointment.

What documents do I need to replace a lost or stolen passport?

If you’re applying for an emergency travel document or urgent passport, you’ll need: 

  • Two identical passport photos You’ll need to bring these with you to the British embassy or consulate. 
  • Identification This can be a driver’s licence.
  • Evidence of UK citizenship This can be a birth certificate or photocopy of your passport. It’s a good idea to carry a photocopy with you in case of an emergency. 
  • Proof of travel This can include a train or plane ticket. (This is only applicable for an emergency travel document).

How do I replace my passport in the UK?

If you’re in the UK and you urgently need to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport, you’ll need to use the 1 week Fast Track service. If you’re outside the UK you cannot get an urgent passport.

You’ll need to complete an application form from the Post Office. Then you’ll have to book an appointment with the passport office online and pay a fee of £142.   

The urgent passport service is only for those looking to travel within three weeks. 

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Compare travel insurance

Most travel insurance policies will provide some cover for the costs of getting an emergency travel document. Travel insurance can also provide financial protection against the cost of medical care, theft and other potential losses.

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