What steps should be taken in the case of a lost or damaged Indian passport?

Steps to take when Indian passport is lost or damaged

For Indians traveling abroad for various purposes such as work, study, medical treatments, or tourism, possessing a valid Indian passport is essential. In case of passport loss or damage, all Indian passport holders must follow the required steps to prevent any inconvenience in the future. This guide aims to provide insights into the essential measures to take in case of passport theft, loss, or damage.

What happens when your passport is lost or damaged?

Without a doubt, passports rank among the most important travel documents for international journeys. From booking flight tickets to visa applications, a passport is essential. After that, it’s important to keep a valid passport because it serves as a important identification document when you are traveling abroad. Thus, any damage or loss of your passport can cause you a lot of trouble.

If you lose your Indian passport while traveling abroad, it is important to immediately report to the local police station in that country. Additionally, you should get in touch with the nearest Indian Mission there. Contact the respective Indian Post/Mission, where they will issue an Emergency Certificate (EC) to facilitate your return to India after verifying your Indian nationality or details.

Please note that duplicate Indian passports are not issued in the case of loss or damage to your passport. If your passport is damaged, you should apply for a new one through the re-issue facility for Indian passports. However, specific criteria for passport damage exist, and appropriate steps must be followed. To initiate this process, you need to submit an online passport application or visit the nearest Passport Seva Kendra.

What constitutes a damaged Indian passport?

Passports with damage are classified based on the extent of damage and their overall condition. A passport is considered damaged in the following situations:

Damaged Beyond Recognition

In the case of damaged passports, you have the option to apply for a new passport by utilizing the Re-issue of passport feature, specifying the reason as a damaged passport.

Partial Damage

When the passport number is readable, the name is readable, and the passport photo remains intact.

What steps to take in the case of a lost or damaged passport?

In either case, obtaining a new passport is necessary. Since no duplicate passport is issued, Indians must apply for a new passport through the re-issue of the passport segment. When your passport is lost or damaged, there are two distinct situations, each requiring specific actions.

Loss or Damage of Passport in India

If your passport is lost in India, it is essential to report to the nearest police station and file an FIR promptly. If your passport has been damaged, you have the option to apply for a new one online or visit the nearest Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). Follow the provided instructions in the case of passport damage or loss in India.

Step 1: Once you realise that your passport has been stolen, lost, or damaged, get in touch with the local police station. You will require a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) for the subsequent application for a new passport.

Step 2: Get all the important documents ready. You need to provide the necessary documents for a new passport application, which includes the FIR, ID proof, address proof, and a copy of your previous passport. If the copy is not accessible, you must present alternative identity documents like a birth certificate, certificates, etc., verifying your nationality.

Step 3: Initiate a new application under the reissue of the passport category. This can be done by either accessing the Passport Seva Portal website, using the mPassport Seva mobile application, or visiting the nearest Passport Seva Kendra/ Post Office Passport Seva Kendra.

Step 4: Finish your passport application, submit it, and pay the applicable passport application fee based on the chosen service. Additionally, schedule an appointment at the PSK for your passport interview.

Step 5: On the scheduled date, attend the passport interview to confirm your identity. After completion, await the issuance of the new passport. Keep track of your passport status for any updates.

Passport Loss or Damage Abroad

This is a common scenario for Indians staying or traveling abroad for several purposes. The loss or damage of a passport overseas can be a serious problem, impacting your stay and potentially causing complications where your ID is necessary, as well as jeopardizing your safe return to India.

If your passport is stolen or lost, it is imperative to promptly inform the local police station and get in touch with the Indian Embassy.

At the relevant Indian mission, initiate the process for a re-issue of your passport. This entails submitting a comprehensive list of required documents along with the duly filled passport application form. Upon successful verification of your Indian nationality, particulars, or origin, you will receive an Emergency Certificate or EC. This EC facilitates your return to India. If you have an international travel insurance policy, it is essential to inform your insurance provider about the circumstances. Several travel insurance plans include coverage for lost passports abroad, enabling you to get reimbursement for the expenses associated with this loss.

Fees needed for a Lost/Damaged Passport

In the case of passport loss or damage, a new one can be requested by submitting a fee. The fee is dependent on factors such as the number of pages in the booklet, the reason for re-issue, the chosen scheme, and the validity of the new passport. The fees needed for applying for a lost or damaged Indian passport are as follows:              

Age of Applicant Passpost Enquiry Pages in Booklet Fee
Under 15 years Expired 36 Pages Normal: INR 1000

Tatkaal: INR 3000

Under 15 years Not Expired 36 Pages Normal: INR 3000

Tatkaal: INR 5000

18 years & above Expired 36 Pages Normal: INR 1500

Tatkaal: INR 3500

18 years & above Expired 60 Pages Normal: INR 2000

Tatkaal: INR 4000

18 years & above Not Expired 36 Pages Normal: INR 3500

Tatkaal: INR 5000

18 years & above Not Expired 60 Pages Normal: INR 3500

Tatkaal: INR 5500

If you lose or damage your passport, getting a new one can be quite expensive. It’s a good idea to be careful and keep your passport safe to avoid any problems. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if someone steals it or if it gets damaged unexpectedly. However, there are travel insurance plans in India that can help if your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad. You should look into these plans to avoid any extra costs during your international trip.

How long does it take to Replace a Damaged Indian Passport?

The duration for the re-issuance of a passport varies based on whether police verification is necessary. If no police verification is needed for your application, the passport can be re-issued within 7 working days. However, if police verification is required, it may take approximately 30 days to obtain a new passport.

How quickly you get a reissued passport also depends on the scheme you choose. If you go for the tatkaal scheme, you can get your passport faster. But keep in mind, not everyone is eligible for this scheme.

If your passport is not severely damaged and the important details like your name, passport number, and photo are still clear, you can apply for a quick reissue using the tatkaal scheme. However, the passport office or authorities have the final say in approving this. If your passport is too damaged and the details are not clear, you can’t use the tatkaal facility.