In Australia, travel documents are despatched by registered mail. Overseas, travel documents should be despatched locally by the safest means possible that provides the security equivalent to registered mail in Australia. If, however, a passport is lost between the mission or Passport Office and the applicant’s address, a full investigation is to be immediately carried out to trace the missing document.
Any missing travel document should immediately be recorded as undelivered.
Only after all efforts to locate the missing passport have failed should the applicant be advised that they must apply for a replacement passport within 60 days of the date of despatch, if they wish to receive a replacement gratis (free of charge). The applicant is not required to submit a PC2 form to report the loss.
Instruct the client to submit a Statutory Declaration (or complete a Form B-11) explaining the circumstances and provide a copy of their original passport receipt when applying for the replacement passport. The client should confirm in the declaration that they have checked with their local post office to confirm that they are not holding the document.
The Passport Office is to write to the client within one month asking if the undelivered travel document has been received and if so request it be returned to the Passport Office for destruction.
If the travel document is subsequently delivered to the passport holder within 10 working days of the document being reported as undelivered, the document can be changed to normal status . If it is after this time or a replacement document is issued, then the undelivered document must be cancelled and destroyed.
If the travel document is returned to the Passport Office or overseas mission by the holder, they cannot apply for a refund for returning a found passport.
Undelivered passports are not included in the count of lost or stolen passports for the purposes of additional fees.