What to do if you lose your passport or other important documents
Has your passport been lost or stolen abroad?
It’s a scary experience. It’s not just your passport, losing any important documents while abroad can ruin your holiday or business trip. There are things you can do to make life easier if it does happen.
What to do next
Would you know what to do if you lost your passport abroad? First things first. There’s no need to panic. Replacing it or getting an emergency passport is surprisingly simple.
If your documents are lost or stolen, there are several important steps you should take as soon as possible.
Inform the authorities
If your passport, driving licence or other important documents are lost or stolen abroad, try and inform the local police within 24 hours. Or as soon as you possibly can.
Make sure you get a written report and reference number. This will help in your application for a new passport or emergency travel document.
Order a replacement passport
If you don’t need to travel back home from your trip urgently, you could order a replacement passport abroad.
This temporary document, sometimes called an emergency passport, costs £100 and can be applied for online.
Once you’ve completed your application, you’ll be told how and when you’ll get your emergency travel document.
This may include attending an appointment at the nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate.
Contact your bank
If any credit or debit cards are lost or stolen, contact your bank or card issuer to cancel the missing card.
Most major card issuers have international telephone numbers they can be reached on overseas. You might also be able to use your banking app to cancel any cards instantly.
Before you leave the UK
Now you know what to do if your passport is lost or stolen while overseas. That’s good news. It’s also important to follow some of these simple steps before you go and when you’re away. It’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and to be vigilant.
You’ll get a detailed guide to the social and political situation in the country you’re visiting. Plus, information on theft hotspots and common scams and crimes.
Copy important documents
Make a copy of the personal details page and take a note of your passport number.
This will help the UK passport office quickly issue you with a new one if yours is lost or stolen.
Store documents securely online
You might also want to store scans or photocopies of your passport, driving licence and any other important documents in a password-protected online account.
If you lose the originals, you can easily print off any copies you might need to present to the authorities to get replacements.
Get travel insurance
Before you leave, consider taking out a travel insurance policy. Some policies will cover the cost of getting replacement passports, driving licences and other travel documents if they’re lost or stolen abroad.
How to stay safe while you’re abroad
Look after your money
It's a good idea to bring a combination of cash and cards, rather than carrying large amounts of cash on you. That way, you've got backup if one or the other goes missing.
This guide aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any decision, financial or otherwise. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this guide. All information correct at date of publication.
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