Full validity passport
A lost/stolen passport can be replaced by a full validity passport only in the following circumstances:
- There is no doubt that the original passport has genuinely been lost or stolen and all reasonable attempts have been taken to find it;
- The loss or theft has been reported on a PC1, PC4 or PC8 application form (section 10), or by telephone etc;
- The applicant fulfils all the requirements for the issue of a passport (including parental consent for a child application or referral to the Approved Senior Officer (ASO));
- No more than 2 travel documents have been reported lost or stolen in the 5 year period up to the date the application was lodged (see ‘ Multiple loss/stolen travel document ’); and
- The application fee and additional lost and stolen fee has been paid.
See also ‘ Lost/stolen child passports whilst overseas ’.
Emergency or Limited Validity Passport
A lost/stolen passport may be replaced by an Emergency Passport (overseas posts) or Limited Validity Passport (Australia, London and Washington) under specified circumstances.
Multiple loss/stolen travel document
Under the Australian Passports Act 2005, Section 15, the delegate may refuse to issue a passport to a person if, in the five years before the passport application under consideration is made, two or more Australian passports issued to the person have been lost or stolen.
Where an applicant has multiple losses and/or thefts (two or more travel documents reported lost/stolen in the five year period up to the date of the application) the matter must be thoroughly investigated. The applicant must be interviewed to clarify the circumstances of the repeated loss/thefts and to ensure they are genuine. The applicant should be advised that the matter is serious and there will be a delay in the issue of a replacement travel document.
In cases where fraud or breaches of the Act are involved the delegate may decide to issue only a limited validity Document of Identity (DOI).
The Australian Passports Determination, Section 5.1, allows for a maximum validity of five years for a passport issued to a person who has lost and/or had stolen three or more travel documents in the last five years before the date of application for the passport. Applications that come under this Section must be referred to the appropriate delegate in Australia, London or Washington for a decision regarding the type of travel document which can be issued.
Loss of passport before delivery to client
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.
Replacing a passport that has never been received
Passport not received within 60 days: lost/stolen
When a travel document is reported as lost or missing in the mail or in transit to an overseas post by the courier service within 60 days of the date of despatch, a replacement document may then be issued on receipt of a Statutory Declaration (or Form B-11) from the client but only when a thorough investigation by the Passport Office or overseas post to attempt to locate the missing document has been unsuccessful and there is no evidence that the applicant in any way contributed to the loss. No fee from the client applies.
A gratis replacement for a passport lost during delivery can be applied for at any stage during the 60 day period providing a reasonable period has been allowed for delivery of the original document and provided all has been done to trace the missing document. When assessing a reasonable period for delivery consideration should be given to the usual timeliness of the delivery system utilised. The applicant does not need to submit a new application form, photos etc.
If an applicant has contributed to the loss of the travel document (i.e. put his/her wrong delivery address on the application form) then the cost of any replacement document is a charge to the applicant.
Passport not received after 60 days: lost/stolen
If an applicant waits longer than 60 days before notifying the Passport Office that they have not received their passport, they must apply for a new passport on a new application form, providing the required photos etc. The normal fee applies.