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Blog Outline

Lost Passport Process for Indians: A Revolutionized, Tech-Driven Affair


The Indian government recognised the need for a better process to replace lost passports for Indians and initiated the Passport Seva Project in 2010. Thanks to the new system, you can do most of the work for lost passport renewal online, and you don’t have to worry about long wait times in government offices like you would have in the past.

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The Indian government recognised the need for a better process to replace lost passports for Indians and initiated the Passport Seva Project in 2010. Thanks to the new system, you can do most of the work for lost passport renewal online, and you don’t have to worry about long wait times in government offices like you would have in the past.

Let’s Begin!

You’ve just received your bonus, and it is finally time to go on that international trip you and the squad have been discussing for years. You excitedly make calls, plan itineraries, and look up the visa process to your destination. Everything seems set; you only have to wait for everyone to set dates. BUT WAIT! One of your friends calls you and says, “I can’t find my passport. I’ve lost it”. All the excitement and the good vibes just disappear in a flash. Determined to make this trip finally happen, you’ve started looking up the lost passport process for Indian passports to find out what to do if passport is lost so you have a chance of getting everyone on board with the travel plans.

A passport is an essential means of identification, without which international travel is downright impossible. Remember the Tom Hanks movie “The Terminal,” where the main character had to live in an airport for almost 20 years because he did not have a valid passport? Losing a passport could happen to anyone. Don’t worry, though. The process to replace lost passports is much better than before since it has become relatively common.

What Does it Mean to Lose a Passport?

A passport is an international identifier of your citizenship and the only acceptable identification that allows you to travel internationally. Whether you’re planning on going abroad for work, education, medical reasons, or just plain tourism, you won’t be able to move ahead without your passport.

What is the procedure for lost passports? You must apply for a re-issue before travelling internationally if you’ve lost your passport. If the lost passport process takes too long, you may be forced to miss important events, lose job opportunities, and even money spent on tickets and other bookings you may have made.

Thankfully, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps prescribed by the Ministry for External Affairs for the process to replace lost passports. You can have a new one in weeks, pending documents and police verification. Rest assured, we’ll take you through the lost passport process in detail.

Step 1: How to Report a Lost Passport

What to do if your passport is lost? Your first destination in the quest for a new passport will be your local police station. Without an official complaint and an FIR (First Information Report), the passport office cannot help you as it is one of the essential documents required for lost passport renewal. State the details of your case and cooperate with the police until you get an official FIR stating that your passport is lost or stolen.

Some countries may have different protocols on how to report a lost passport. You may be forced to visit multiple police stations or government offices to find some resolution. If you feel like the authorities are not cooperating with you or you don’t understand what to do if your passport is lost, consider calling or visiting the nearest Indian Mission and finding out what is the procedure for lost passport reporting in your current situation.

Make sure you keep a copy of the FIR for future reference on how to report a lost passport. Also, ensure you make photocopies of your passport to help you if you ever lose your passport again. Even noting the passport number can make a big difference when it comes to your reissue application.

Step 2: Applying for Reissue of a Lost Passport

Here’s how to apply for a re-issue of a passport online with the Passport Seva portal. Once you’ve filled out the form and paid the fees, you can schedule an appointment for lost passport renewal online. You can also visit your neighbourhood, Passport Seva Kendra (PSK). However, the online method is simpler and faster.

The term re-issue of passport is important here since you will be given a new passport with a new passport number. If you have details of your passport number or any photos or photocopies of your passport, that will help you with your lost passport renewal online application as well.

Creating an account on the Passport Seva Portal

In the online process to replace lost passports, you will need to create an account on the Passport Seva online portal. The website also has guides on what to do if your passport is lost in different circumstances. There are several FAQs on the lost passport process, which may be relevant to your unique situation.

Click on the new user registration button if you do not already have an account. If you do, click on the existing user login. In case you have forgotten your password, do not worry. A convenient forgot password option will send a password reset link to your registered email address. You will need to submit your details to create the account, but the process is quite simple and takes only a few minutes.

How to apply for reissue of passport via online application

  1. Once you have logged in, on the home screen of your user dashboard, you should see an option to “Apply for a fresh passport/re-issue of passport”. Click on that.
  2. You will be asked if you wish to submit the form online or download a soft copy to fill out offline and upload (for those who do not have consistent internet).
  3. Enter all the details in the form carefully. Once you submit the form, it cannot be changed. You will have to re-submit the form and pay the application fees again. The form requires simple personal details such as your name and names of family members, address details and details of your lost passport.
  4. Once you have completed the form, verify and submit all the details. You will have to pay ₹2,000 to submit it as a normal application and ₹4,000 to submit it as a Tatkal application (fast-tracked), which will be processed within 2-4 days. Even if you submit it directly at the passport office, the payment must be made online as there is no payment counter.


This simple procedure is how to apply for a reissue of passport online. Once the appointment has been booked, you will receive an Appointment Number/Application Reference Number (ARN) via SMS on your registered mobile number. You don’t need to carry a printed copy of the application receipt, as the SMS on your phone will suffice as proof of your appointment.

Step 3: Your Appointment at the Passport Office or PSK

Take all the original documents required for lost passport renewal with a few self-attested copies when you go to your appointment at the relevant Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) or Regional Passport Office (RPO).

Documents required for lost passport renewal

  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Police FIR
  • Proof of identification and address – Aadhaar Card, Driving License, PAN card, Voter ID Card.
  • Secondary address proof – Family Card, rental agreement, electricity bill, bank account passbooks, employer certificate on company letterhead
  • Proof of Age – Birth certificate, life insurance policy, school leaving certificate


While submitting, all photocopies of proofs of identification, address, and age must be self-attested by the applicant or their legal guardian (for minors). The primary reason for visiting the Passport Office or PSK in the lost passport process is to verify your original documents and confirm your identity. You will also be required to submit your biometric details, including face mapping and fingerprints, for the process to replace lost passports.

As of early 2023, there are 36 passport offices, 93 Passport Seva Kendras (PSK), and 428 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in India. There are around 190 Indian Mission Posts to address the concerns of Indians abroad. You can locate the Passport Office or PSK nearest to you using this tool from the Government of India’s official passport website and contact them to find out more about what is the procedure for lost passports. Most major cities and towns in India have facilities to hold your appointment, but in some cases, you may have to travel to the nearest Passport Office or PSK in a nearby town or city for a lost passport process.

Aside from the fees payable for the lost passport renewal online application, you are not required to pay any other charges. Ensure you have all the relevant documents and sufficient numbers of self-attested copies to ensure that the lost passport process goes smoothly and successfully. Having a convenient folder or bag to organise all your documents is ideal. You will also be required to submit an OTP sent to your registered mobile number, so ensure that your phone battery is sufficiently charged, your number is active, and you can receive an SMS.

Step 4: Documents and Police Verification

Once you are at the passport office, you must wait until the staff calls you in. You will be asked to go in alone for your appointment at the Passport Office or PSK. Minors and senior citizens may be accompanied by their guardians.

The Passport Office or PSK personnel will verify your documents and sometimes ask you a few questions. Once the verification is complete, they will take in your biometric data (fingerprints, retina scans, and live photographs). Once the biometrics are successfully uploaded, the Passport Office or PSK portion of the lost passport process is complete. You will receive an SMS and/or email confirming the acceptance or rejection of your passport re-issue application.

What is the procedure for lost passport applications that have been rejected? If the application is rejected, reasons for rejection will be given, and you can submit a fresh application. If it is accepted, the next step in the lost passport process is to wait for police verification. A police officer from your neighbourhood police station will visit your registered address to check if you live there. They may ask you a few questions and verify your identity with your neighbours, but the most important thing is that you are present at your address when they visit.

Once the police verification is complete, your new passport will be delivered, and you can travel internationally again. For working professionals who cannot wait at home, to facilitate a smooth verification, make sure someone is present at your address to communicate the officer’s arrival. They can be informed that you are on the way and may wait for a short period or return later so that you can complete the verification. This is the last step in the lost passport process.

Want to know about the documents required for your Indian passport application? Read here.

Renewal vs. Reissue of Passport


Passport Renewal

Passport Reissue


A passport nearing its expiration date or expired

Valid or expired passport

Validity Period

Renew passport within one year of expiration

Reissue can be done anytime

Name/Personal Details

No major changes in name/details

Major changes in name/details require reissue

Address Change

Address change within the same jurisdiction possible

Address change within/outside jurisdiction possible

Additional Pages

No additional pages are provided

Additional pages can be added (if there are not enough pages)

Passport Condition

The passport should be in a reasonable condition

A damaged passport can be reissued with the necessary steps

Documents Required

Fewer documents are required

More documents might be required for significant changes

Police Verification

Not typically required

It may be required based on the case

Application Form

Renewal Form

Reissue Form


Generally lower fees

Fees might vary based on the reason for reissue

Processing Time

Usually quicker processing

Processing time can vary

Unfamiliar Territory: What to do if Passport is Lost Abroad?

For those who have lost their passport abroad, the process is similar. You will have to visit a local police station and report the loss of your passport. The police station will provide a report, which you can take to the nearest Indian Mission or High Commission in the country.

Once they confirm your nationality, they can issue an Emergency Certificate (EC) with which you can return to India. If you are looking for a re-issue of your passport while abroad, you must follow the instructions given by the Indian Mission or the Indian High Commission.

To locate an Indian Mission abroad, visit the Ministry of External Affairs website and find a geographical list of all Missions. The website will provide the address and contact details of the mission that can assist you and details of what to do if passport is lost abroad. If you’ve lost your possessions and do not have funds to travel, you can contact the mission and ask for assistance.

Losing a passport can cause you many inconveniences when travelling abroad. As the only accepted identification, it can prevent you from booking flights, trains and other modes of transport. Not to mention the hassle of going through the lost passport process. If you are an NRI, it is a good idea for you to get identification in the country of your residence. This will allow you to travel locally without having to take the risk of carrying your passport everywhere. In the US, your state driving license allows you to travel domestically, even if you are not a citizen of the US.

If your travel time is short, then make sure you take extra care to safeguard your passport by keeping it in a bag that you do not take off. If you are leaving it in the hotel room, ensure it is safely locked. Beware of pickpockets and leaving your passport bag in a community storage unit when you are out exploring. Losing your possessions is bad, but losing your passport can put you in a difficult pinch.

Also Read: How to Apply for Passport Online from India

Wrapping Up The Process

While it is something that you should definitely try to avoid, a lost passport no longer means endless waiting in government offices. Since revamping the passport support services in 2010, renewing and getting a new passport has become much easier. If you’ve got all the relevant documents required for lost passport renewal, you can get a new passport reissued in as little as two weeks. That’s probably quick enough to make it to that vacation plan you’ve been afraid of missing out on.

Make sure you report the loss of a passport as soon as you find out about it. The sooner you report it, the sooner you can start working on how to apply for a reissue of your passport. Keep calm and collect all the documents required for lost passport renewal, including the FIR from the police. With the right information and the right documents, you can have your passport reissue request processed in just a few days. Once your request is approved, you just have to complete the police verification, and you’ll have a new passport faster than you could have imagined.

Key Takeaways

The most important thing to remember regarding a lost or stolen passport is to report it immediately. Learning how to report a lost passport saves you time and makes you safe from any misuse of your passport. The only uncertainty in the entire re-issue process is the time it takes for the police to investigate and file an FIR on the matter. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it could be done quickly or drag on for a while. In either case, it should be your priority to report it from your end.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the procedure for lost passport in different countries?

Whichever country you are in, you will first have to report the loss of your passport to a local police station. If you are abroad, you can take the police report and visit the nearest Indian Mission or High Commission to receive an Emergency Certificate or a reissue of your passport. In India, you will have to get an FIR, apply for a reissue of your passport and schedule an appointment with a Passport Office or PSK near you.

2. Does the cost and duration vary in different countries? What to do if passport is lost in a small country like Finland/Ireland?

The cost for a lost passport renewal online application remains the same in all countries. However, the duration and procedure are determined by the Indian Mission/Consulate or High Commission in that country. The Ministry of External Affairs has Indian Missions set up worldwide and will go above and beyond to help any Indian citizen.

3. How long does it typically take to get a reissued or duplicate passport?

Once you get an FIR, start the lost passport process immediately. You can submit the reissue application online and book an appointment with the nearest Passport Office or PSK. Your application will be processed within 30-45 days for normal applications and 4 days for Tatkal applications. If and when it is approved, police verification will be initiated, and your passport will be delivered to you as the final step in the lost passport process.

4. Is there a fee involved in the lost passport process?

When you apply online for a reissue of your passport, you can pay the normal fees of ₹2,000 or submit a tatkal application, which costs ₹4,000. The difference is due to the time it takes to process it. Normal applications can take 30-45 days, while a Tatkal application is usually processed within four working days.

5. Do I need to get rid of the reissued passport and get a normal one once I go back to India?

Once your passport is reissued after a lost passport process, you can use it just like you would use a normal passport. Unless you need to change details on the passport, this will be your passport until it expires.
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