Alterations and endorsements in travel documents

Alterations to travel document after issue

A travel document cannot be altered after issue – even to correct minor mistakes.

A person who wishes to amend any particular in a passport should be advised that an application for the issue of a new passport is required and that normal procedures must be completed, including payment of the full application fee.

Passport Office errors: gratis replacement

Where a client finds a mistake caused by an error of passport staff or systems, a new document will be issued gratis without the need for the applicant to re-apply.

The validity of the new document will be the same as the one being replaced.

Change of name after travel document issue

A travel document cannot be altered to reflect a change of name.

A new application must be made and a new document produced.

Endorsements including labels

Use of an endorsement, including a label, is the only way additional information can be added to a passport or other travel document – either at the time of issue or subsequently. The endorsement must not conflict with, or be used to try to alter any personal details on the bio-data page.

An endorsement may:

The text used for endorsements must follow follow the standards outlined in ‘ Standard formats for endorsement in travel document ’. Authorised Officers do not have authority to vary these standards or decide new formats of text.

The text can be printed on a label and placed in a travel document with a stamp/seal if additional information is subsequently required after it has been despatched.

Fees apply to applications for endorsements/observations that are made after the initial production of the travel document. There are no provisions allowing waiver or refund of this fee.

Observation page in travel document

Only the observation page may be used for placing an approved endorsement label as outlined above, see ‘ Endorsements including labels ’.

The observation text on the observation page must not be crossed out, ‘opened’ or altered in any way to allow use for visas even where this practice may be acceptable to other countries.

Standard formats for endorsement in travel document

An endorsement can be printed directly onto the observation page or on a label that is placed on the observation page of a travel document where information is relevant to the identity of the bearer and/or the purpose of their travel.

The following formats for endorsements are routinely used and are preformatted in the Passport Issuance and Control System (PICS).

Note: An observation must not be in conflict with any details on the bio-data page of the travel document.


Approved text for endorsement

Emergency passports

Valid for one-way travel to {country} only

Valid for travel between {country} and {country} only

Documents of Identity

Valid for travel between the Australian mainland and Norfolk Island only

Valid for one-way travel to {country} only

Valid for travel between {country} and {country} only

Certificates of Identity and Convention Travel Documents

The validity of this Document has been extended to …./…./….
Authorised Officer {Signature} {Date} {Location}

Concurrent Ordinary passports for official travel to Taiwan

Not to be revalidated or reissued without reference to {issuing office}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is {title as listed in Diplomatic passports table}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is {position*} {name of mission}

Diplomatic passports

Bearer is the {spouse/dependant/member of the household} of the {position*} {name of mission}

Official passports

Bearer is {title as listed in Official passports table}

Official passports

Bearer is travelling on Government business

Official passports

Bearer is {spouse/dependant/member of the household} of the {title as listed in Official passports table or travelling on Government business}

Awards and decorations

Bearer holds the award of {full name of award e.g. Order of Australia Medal, Member of the British Empire}

Limited validity passports issued in London, Washington or Australia

This is a limited validity passport. If you apply in person before this document expires, and meet all requirements on the application, a replacment passport, extended to the full validity will be issued free.

The following position* designations are approved for use in diplomatic passports:

Where required by the local Foreign Ministry the following position designations may be used:

Passport staff have no authority to vary the text of an endorsement from the standards listed above.

Visa pages in travel document

Extra visa pages cannot be added to passports or travel documents.

Bio-data details translation into Arabic – for Libya only

From 11 November 2007 all travellers entering (including re-entering) Libya require an Arabic translation of their passport bio details page, endorsed by wet seal/stamp from an Australian Passport Office or overseas diplomatic or consular post. Instructions from Libyan authorities on the format of the translation, or how it should be attached to the passport, are unclear. Passport holders should contact their nearest Libyan People’s Bureau for advice.

Few requests to endorse an Arabic translation have been received. Passports presented have had affixed to the last visa page a template/stamp completed and signed by a translation service, or in some cases the translation has been handwritten into the passport by the translator.

Translations should be done by an accredited translation service (NAATI in Australia or DIAC approved translator overseas, see ‘ Foreign language documents - translations ’). Passport officers have limited means of confirming that the translation is authentic. If possible check that the translation service is accredited or approved by DIAC and contact the translation service to verify that the translation is authentic. Passport holders should be advised that an endorsement is not a guarantee that the translation is correct.

There is no charge for this service.