Lost your passport on holiday? Here's what to do

A lost passport.
A lost passport. Photo credit: Getty Images.

It's probably the worst and most stressful thing that can happen to you when you're on holiday: you lose or damage your passport - or even worse, it's stolen.

This doesn't have to mean the end of the world if you know what you need to do, and you do it quickly.

The first thing you need to do is go to the Department of Internal Affairs on 0800 22 50 50 or +64 4 463 9360, if you are overseas.

It's also recommended you report it to local police in the city you are visiting.

If your passport is lost or stolen it's really important to report it straight away so it can't be used by anyone to travel in your name.

Make sure you have your passport number, location and date of when it was stolen and get a police report number if you have reported it to police.

Then, the process of replacing your passport begins. If you are prepared then this process is going to go a lot faster.

You'll need a digital colour photo that's been taken in the last six months. It must be in a digital JPEG format. You'll also need your old passport number, phone number, email address and date of birth.

Man with beard.
Remember not to smile in your passport photo. Photo credit: Getty Images

Here's where it can sting a bit. If you don't need your passport in a hurry then it will cost you $180 and you can do it online

But if you need it fast, the price goes up to $360.

A replacement can be made within two or three days, but it depends on where you are as to how long it will take to get to you. You can physically pick up new or replacement passports from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Sydney and London.

Of course, no one expects to lose their passport while on holiday - but you'll be back in the air much faster if you have a plan in place.  

Here's what you should have:

  • Have a digital photo saved in your email or somewhere online so it's easy to access and send to the passports office.
  • Note down your current passport number so they know which passport to replace.
  • The contact details of the Department of Internal Affairs passport office (0800 22 50 50 or + 64 4 463 9360)

One last tip: keep your passport in a safe place so it's less likely to go missing.