LOST OR STOLEN PASSPORT - WHAT TO DO
Updated January 2019
If you are a British national and your UK passport has been lost, stolen or expired while you are abroad you can use an emergency travel document also known as 'an emergency passport' to leave the country you are in and return back to your destination. These can be issued on short notice whilst you are overseas.
Expired or damaged passports
If you are outside of the UK and your passport has expired or is several damaged and you are unable to use it on your return journey you should always try renewing or replacing it before using an emergency travel document.
Only apply for 'an emergency passport' if you need to travel before you can get a replacement passport.
If your passport has been stolen you must contact the local police and report it. Also make sure you retain any and all crime report details and any reference numbers given to you by the police as you may need these in your application form. This is called making a Denuncia and more details on how to do this can be found HERE The S.A.T.E office can also help with this process. Please note you may also have to do this if you have just lost your passport.
*Please note that in most cases your UK passport will need to be cancelled before you apply for an emergency travel document, to save it from being compromised and used for un-intended purposes such as ID theft.
What an emergency travel document can do.
An emergency travel document enables you to leave the country you are in and return to your final destination, either the United Kingdom or the country you are residing in.
The emergency travel document will allow you to travel via a maximum of 5 different countries.
Unlike a standard adult UK passport which is valid for 10 years an emergency travel document is only valid for a specific journey at a specific time.
If your final destination is the UK, border staff will keep your emergency travel document when you arrive. Border staff at a different final destination might also keep the document.
• Having an emergency travel document doesn't automatically grant you entry to the country or countries you are travelling to or through, you may also need a visa. So please check with that countries Embassy or Consulate before travelling.
• Where possible they will inform you of any known countries where the emergency travel document has restrictions.
• You can ONLY travel to the destinations you have stated on your application.
• If you plans change after you receive you emergency travel document you will have to apply and pay for a new one to be issued.
• This 'emergency passport' is ONLY valid for the journey stated, if your emergency travel document is not kept by immigration at your final destination you must return it to your nearest British Embassy/High Commission/Consulate for processing and destruction.
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 don’t 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 can’t book ahead)
You usually can’t get an emergency travel document if you’ve never had a UK passport. You should apply for a passport instead.
Applying for an Emergency Passport
You can apply for your Emergency Passport online HERE.
It costs £100 to apply for an emergency travel document. The fee isn’t refundable. You can pay online as part of your application. If you don’t, you’ll be asked to pay over the phone.
You might need to attend an appointment at your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate after you apply online. You’ll be told after you’ve submitted your application whether you need an appointment.
You’ll need to give a contact telephone number and email address as part of your application.
You may have to personally have to go to the Consulate in Alicante, A taxi will cost in the region of 75€ - 90€ each way. If has been stolen it has to be reported to either the Guardia Civil or the National Police and a police crime number obtained.
Apply on behalf of someone else
You can apply for an emergency travel document and book an appointment for someone else if they’re a British citizen. They might have to attend an appointment and they must collect their emergency travel document in person.
If you apply for a child under 16, they’ll need to attend an appointment. Both parents should go with them if possible. If neither parent can attend, they’ll need to send a signed consent letter.
Documents you’ll need to send or bring to an appointment
- a recent passport-quality photo
- proof of your travel plans, such as booking confirmations (or detailed written travel plans if you can’t book ahead)
- your passport if you have it
- a police report if your passport has been stolen
- proof of residency if your final destination is outside the EU
How long it will take
Your emergency travel document will normally be ready in 2 working days.
You’ll be told after you’ve applied how and when you’ll get your emergency travel document.
This passport will only be valid for the duration of your holiday and you will have to apply for a full 10 year passport on your return. These fees are set by the UK parliament not the Consulate.
The Consulate is open between 8.30 am and 1.30 pm Monday to Friday.
The chances of your travel insurance paying for extra accommodation and travel to the consulate is dependent on which company and policy type you have - check the terms and conditions beforehand.
SO THE MAIN MESSAGE IS TO LOOK AFTER YOUR PASSPORT WHEN ON HOLIDAY, TAKE A COPY OUT WITH YOU AND LEAVE THE ORIGINAL LOCKED IN THE SAFE.
British Consulate Alicante
Rambla Méndez Núñez 28-32
Fax +34 965 14 05 28 (Consular phone lines are open from 8am to 4pm)
+34 965 21 60 22