What to do if you lose your passport overseas
As the most important item on your trip, your passport is your ticket to the world. You’d be lost without this unique piece of identification, so what do you do if something happens to it?
The loss of a passport can be a stressful experience – being stranded away from home can be a daunting experience. Luckily, State is here to help. Our emergency service is on hand, 24/7. We’ve got some great tips on keeping your passport safe, as well as what to do if it does get stolen or becomes lost.
Before you go
- Take a photo of your passport to keep on your phone.
- Create colour copies of your passport. Keep a copy with you, and leave one at home with family or friends.
- If you have spare passport photos, take them with you.
- Register with Safe Travel, a New Zealand website that is connected with the government and worldwide embassies. If there’s an emergency nearby, they’ll contact you and send you any important information.
- Know the address/s of a New Zealand embassy near you.
- Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance - it includes cover for lost/stolen passports and travel documents, as well as missed connections and travel fees resulting from the loss of your important papers*.
While you're abroad
- Keep your passport on you at all times. Don’t store it in luggage that will be separated from you while travelling, such as in cargo holds or overhead compartments.
- Similarly, don’t keep valuables (like your passport) in back pockets or bags that can be easily taken from you. Thieves are light-handed and things can go missing without you noticing. Invest in bags that have secret compartments, padlocks for those bags, or a money wallet that ties around your waist.
- At your accommodation, keep your passport in a secure safe or hide it in your various secret bag compartments or waist wallet – particularly if you’re planning on sleeping on overnight public transport.
It's gone! What now?
Have a good look and make sure your passport really is gone. It may have slipped into a different pocket or you may have left it in the safe in your room.
Contact the police and your local embassy as soon as possible.
At the same time, contact State’s emergency service - the loss/theft must be reported within 24 hours.
You can reach us from:
- Australia - 1800 810 095
- United Kingdom - 0808 234 4360
- USA - 1866 894 5264
- Canada - 1877 416 3486
- All other countries - +64 (0) 9 300 8580
Stay calm. With help from State and the embassy, you’ll have a new passport or a temporary travel document within no time.