Passport Theft: How to Protect Yours


Every year thousands of British passports are lost or stolen abroad, as many tourists become the victim of thieves.

Losing your passport abroad can cause a major disruption to your holiday; it can be both time consuming and costly. You will need to report the theft to local police and you may have to travel to another town or city in order to obtain a replacement passort from a British Consulate Office.

Protect yourself and your passport

This great video from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) highlights the most common techniques criminals are using to get their hands on our passports

Tips for keeping your passport safe

The FCO has provided the following tips to help you keep your passport safe when you are travelling abroad.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and be wary of strangers who take an unusual amount of interest in you.
  • A damaged passport cannot be used for travel, so value it and keep it safe
  • Lock your passport in a safe if you have access to one, or if you are required to keep it with you, ensure its location is not visible
  • Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you, or store an electronic copy securely. Where permitted, use your photocopy as alternative ID, for example when going out at night
  • For certain countries your passport must be valid for 6 months after the date you travel – check the entry requirements before you go
  • Ensure you fill in the emergency details / next of kin page before you go

What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

If your passport is lost or stolen on holiday, you will need to obtain a replacement from the nearest British Consulate office.  For more information on what to do if your passport is lost or stolen read our article: Lost or Stolen Passport: A Guide to Help Get You Out of Trouble

Travel insurance cover for lost and stolen passports

Gold and Platinum policies from provide cover for the reasonable cost of obtaining a replacement passport, up to the amount stated in your schedule of cover, to enable you to return back to the UK following the loss or theft of your passport whilst outside of the UK. You must report the loss or theft to the local police and obtain a written police report.