What to do if your passport, tickets, visa or other documents are stolen or lost abroad
Passports and other important documents are needed to be able to travel abroad - but what happens if these are stolen whilst away?
If you’re abroad, need to travel and cannot get a passport in time, you can apply for an emergency travel document, which is sometimes called an ‘emergency passport’.
Gov.uk notes that you can apply for an emergency travel document if all the following apply:
- you’re a British national
- you’re outside the UK
- your passport has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
- you do not have time to renew or replace your passport before you travel
- you can provide proof of your travel plans, for example booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you cannot book ahead)
LV insurance explains that you may need to make an appointment to apply for emergency travel documents, so you should call ahead first.
Ensure that you take all the relevant paperwork with you to your appointment, which includes a completed form, a recent photo, a copy of the police report in the case of a theft and details of your journey home.
LV insurance notes, “The process also incurs a fee that can usually be claimed back through your travel insurance.”
Where can I travel with this emergency travel document?
You can use an emergency travel document to travel to your destination through a maximum of five countries. You can also normally use it to return to the country you’re applying from, if you live there.
Your travel plans, including countries and dates, will be printed on your emergency travel document, so if you change your travel plans once you have your emergency travel document, you’ll need to apply for a new one.
If your last destination is the UK, then border staff will keep your emergency travel document when you arrive. Border staff may also keep your document at a different final destination.
You may also need a visa to leave the country you’re in or to travel through other countries with your emergency travel document, so you will need to check with the embassy or consulate of each country.
Cancelling a stolen passport
Gov.uk explains that, “You must cancel a lost or stolen passport as soon as possible. This will reduce the risk of anyone else using your passport or your identity.”
You can also report a lost or stolen passport for someone else if they can’t do it themselves.
To cancel a lost or stolen passport, visit: gov.uk/report-a-lost-or-stolen-passport Steps to take if passport and credit or debit cards are lost or stolen
LV insurance explains that almost 30,000 UK passports are lost or stolen abroad each year, but there are certain steps you should take if this does happen.
The insurance company says that “whether it’s your wallet or passport that’s been lost or stolen, you should always report it to the police.
“If you’ve taken out travel insurance, your insurer will want to see the police report as part of the claims process, and if your passport's been stolen, you'll need the same report to get emergency travel documents for your journey home.”
There are other things to consider when putting in a claim on your travel insurance, including proving that you took reasonable care in looking after your possessions at the time of the loss or theft of your money or passport.
If a wallet or purse is stolen and contained a credit or debit card inside, you need to inform your bank straight away. Each bank should have a phone number specifically for reporting missing cards, so make a note of this before you go away.
For lost travellers’ cheques, get in touch with the provider and follow their process for replacing the lost cheques.
What if my travel tickets have been stolen?
You need to notify either the tour operator (if you’re on a package holiday), or the airline in the case of missing plane tickets as soon as possible if you’ve lost your travel tickets or other related documents.