Losing your passport may become somewhat of an issue, but it’s not impossible to get it back. If it’s nowhere to be found, restore it by applying to the Australian Passport Office. Firstly, you’ll need to prepare documents, launch the application online and pay the fee. Follow the post to learn how to renew your passport step by step.

The First Thing to Do When the Passport is Lost

Report that your official identification document is missing by calling the Passport Information Service in Australia. If it happened to you while you were abroad, apply to the Australian consular mission and explain your problem.

How to Apply for a New Passport

Head to the government website and use the service that allows you to replace your passport. You’ll need to state the reason why you want to restore it: lost or stolen. Do not choose renewal as you’re eligible for this service only after your passport’s validity expires. If you lose your document, it launches procedures that are completely different and require additional documents to prove your identity.

Required Documents

The most important document is the proof of citizenship and identity. It can be:
  • Birth certificate
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Proof of any change of sex or name
  • Residential address
You’ll also need to attach 2 colour photos to your application. It must be a 35x45 mm high-resolution image featuring your head and the top of your shoulders. See the link to know more about the Australian ID photo specifications.

Find a Witness to Prove Your Identity

There must be someone who can confirm your identity and act as a witness if the passport officer checks in. This person countersigns your application form and puts a signature at the back of one of your photos. They can’t be your relative or someone living with you. It must be a friend or a person you have known for at least 1 year, like a colleague or else. You’ll need to provide your identity referee’s name, phone number, and passport details.

Submit Your Application

Head to the Australia Post Office and submit the filled-in application, as well as 2 printed-out photos. Mind the Covid-19 restrictions: wear a mask and gloves and keep a safe distance of 1,5 meters. You might want to call before going to avoid queues, although it’s not that big of an issue usually. Do not go to public places if you have a temperature, sore throat, or other COVID resembling symptoms.

The fee for passport replacement is $189 AUD. The processing time doesn’t take too long and takes about 3 weeks, but in most cases, it clears much faster. You will receive a notification when the documents are ready. There is an express service that allows you to get your passport in just 2 days and it will cost you an extra $220AUD.

How to Take a Photo?

If you head to the Officeworks store chain or use Australian photo services, you’ll spend from $15 to $20 AUD for a couple of images. Going for the online alternatives will help you cut your expenses almost in half.

Simply take the picture using your smartphone and upload it to the online passport photo service.

The software will crop it automatically, improve the background and make sure it complies with the official requirements. You’ll get the digital version, as well as convenient templates for printing. It costs about $8 AUD. Add an extra $0.30 AUD to print out the image at the Officeworks. Remember to put your order in online for a cheap service and don’t forget to pick glossy paper when doing so.

Keep the Passport Safe
Although restoring your passport is possible, it takes time and unnecessary spendings. Use these tips to prevent the loss and save yourself from undergoing the time-consuming procedure:
  • Do not store your passport where it can be easily snatched, especially when travelling
  • Keep it in the inside pocket or a special money belt
  • Use waterproof sheet covers to protect them from damage
  • Find a perfect place to store the document at home. It’s better to keep it in a secure place to be safe
Restoring your passport isn’t that hard when you think of it, but it surely does a number on your nerves. If it has happened to you, the first and most important thing is to stay calm and don’t panic. The good thing about it is that the government has made the recovery procedure as painless as can be. Paying the fee and getting your photos done right is possibly the main issue here, but the latter shouldn’t be a problem if you go for online photo tools.