Lost or stolen passport?
Losing a passport, or having it stolen, is one of the most dreaded situations for any British citizen. This document is essential to everyday life both within the country and abroad, and failing to present it could, in certain situations, result in problems for the passport holder.
Fortunately, the British government does have a lost or stolen document, allowing British nationals to replace it relatively easily. The document is called the LS01 form, which victims of loss or theft should fill out and send in to Her Majesty’s Passports Office. From there, the application process runs in very much the same way it does when first applying for a passport, with a standard waiting time of six weeks which can be shortened through Fast Track or Premium services.
Filling in the LS01 form is also relatively easy. The information included does not need to be thorough, as it can be hard to remember all the details without the passport at hand. Instead, HM Passports Office simply requests that applicants give as much information as they can about the lost or stolen passport when filling out the form. Similarly, in case of loss or theft, applicants are required to inform the relevant authorities, and to include that information in the LS01 as well.
Once the form in question has been received, HM Passports Office will set the cancellation process in motion and issue a replacement. Once a passport has been voided, it may not be used again, even if the applicant happens to find it. Citizens who attempt to use a voided passport, even if it does belong to them, may be held in custody by immigration authorities or the police. Passports found by a third party should always be returned to HM Passports Office, which will dispose of or destroy them. Citizens who are abroad and need to urgently travel during the passport renovation period should secure an emergency travel document from the British embassy, which they should use to return to the United Kingdom as soon as possible. Once back in the mainland, they can then set about replacing their identification document, through the process described above.
It is evident, then, that while undeniably aggravating, the loss or theft of a passport is not necessarily a cause for panic. It is relatively easy to secure a replacement either via the Passport Office’s standard 3-6 week service or the Fast Track 1 Week service. You may also wish to explore using the Passport Office Exemption or Queue Jumping Service that we offer as an independent organisation.