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What to Do in Case of Lost/Damaged Indian Passport

A valid Indian passport is needed for Indians heading abroad for work, study, medical treatments or tourism. In case of passport loss or damage, all Indian passport holders must take necessary steps to avoid any inconvenience later. This guide will help you understand the necessary measures that should be taken in case of passport theft, passport loss or damaged passport.

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What Happens When Your Passport is Lost or Damaged?

Without a doubt, passports are among the most important travel documents for international trips. A passport is essential, from booking flight tickets to applying for a visa. Even afterwards, you must have a valid passport as it is an important identity document when abroad. So if there's any damage to your passport or if the passport is lost altogether, then it can cause you a lot of trouble.

What Happens When Your Passport is Lost or Damaged

In case of loss of an Indian passport while travelling abroad, you must immediately report it to the local police station in that country. Along with that, you must also contact the nearest Indian Mission in that country. You must contact the responsible Indian Post/Mission, where an EC (Emergency Certificate) will be issued to you. This EC will let you return to India after verification of your Indian nationality or particulars has been made.

Please note that duplicate Indian passports are not issued if your passport is lost or damaged. In case of passport damage, you must apply for a new passport via re-issue of the Indian passport facility. However, there are criteria for passport damage, and steps should be taken accordingly. For this, you must submit a passport application online or go to the nearest Passport Seva Kendra.

What is Considered a Damaged Indian Passport?

Damaged passports are classified as per the extent of damage and the condition theyre in. A passport is considered damaged in case of following situations:

  • Partial Damage: When the passport number is readable, the name is legible, and the passport photo is intact
  • Damaged beyond recognition: For damaged passports, you can apply for a new passport using the Re-issue of passport feature with the reason as damaged passport.

What to Do in Case of Lost or Damaged Passport?

In either case, you need a new passport. As there is no duplicate passport issued, Indians must apply for a new passport under the re-issue of passport segment. There can be two situations when your passport is lost or damaged, both require different actions.

  1. Passport Loss or Damage Abroad

    This is a common scenario for Indians who are staying or visiting abroad for various reasons. Passport damage or loss abroad can be a serious problem as it can affect your stay there. It can land you in trouble where your ID is required, as well as for your safe return to India.

    In case of theft or loss of passport, you must immediately report to the local police station and contact the Indian Embassy as soon as possible.

    At the concerned Indian mission, you must apply for a re-issue of your passport. This will also require a complete list of necessary documents along with the completed passport application form. Once your Indian nationality/particulars/origin has been verified, you will be issued an Emergency Certificate or EC. This EC will enable you to return to India.

    If you have an international travel insurance policy, you must also notify your insurance provider of the situation. Many travel insurance plans offer coverage for lost passports abroad so that you can get reimbursed for the expenses incurred for this loss.

  2. Passport Loss or Damage in India

    In case of passport loss in India, you must report to the nearest police station and file an FIR immediately. In case your passport has sustained damages, you can apply for a new one online or visit the nearest PSK. You can follow the given instructions in case of passport damage or loss in India:

    Step 1: As soon as you realise your passport has been stolen/lost or damaged, contact the local police station. You will need a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) to apply for a new passport later.

    Step 2: Prepare all the necessary documents. You must provide the required documents for a new passport application, including the FIR, ID proof, address proof and a copy of your previous passport. If this copy is unavailable, you will need to provide other identity documents, such as a birth certificate, certificates etc., which prove your nationality.

    Step 3: You can start a fresh application under the reissue of passport category. You can do so by either visiting the Passport Seva Portal website, through mPassport Seva mobile application or by visiting the nearest Passport Seva Kendra/ Post Office Passport Seva Kendra.

    Step 4: Complete your passport application, submit it and pay the passport application fee as per the service opted. You will also need to make an appointment at the PSK for your passport interview.

    Step 5: On the scheduled date, show up for the passport interview to verify your identity. Once everything is done, wait for the new passports issuance. You can track the status of your passport for any updates.

Fees Required for a Lost/Damaged Passport

In case of passport loss or damage, a fresh one can be applied for by paying a fee. The fee varies with the number of pages in the booklet, reason for re-issue, scheme opted and validity of the new passport. The following are the fees required if applying for a lost or damaged Indian passport:

Fees Required for a Lost/Damaged Passport

Age of Applicant Passport Expiry Pages in Booklet Fees
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

As you can see, the re-issue cost of a passport application is very high if it has been lost or damaged. It is best to take all precautions to keep your passport safe at all times and protect it from getting damaged. However, there is not much to be done for situations like theft or vandalism that are beyond anyones control. However, many travel insurance plans in India offer coverage for passport theft or loss abroad. You can check plans providing this facility to avoid any extra expenses while on your international trip.

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

The time taken for the re-issuance of a passport depends on whether a police verification for a passport is needed or not. If your application does not require police verification, then the passport may be re-issued within 7 working days. In case a police verification is required, it may take around 30 days to get a fresh passport.

The time taken to get a passport re-issued also depends on the scheme opted. You can get your passport faster under the tatkaal scheme. However, not everyone can opt for this scheme.

If the passport has not been damaged beyond recognition, i.e., the name, passport number and photo are clear and intact, then it is possible to apply for a re-issue of the Indian passport under the tatkaal scheme. Regardless, the final authority for this issuance lies with the passport office/authorities. In case of passports damaged beyond recognition, tatkaal facility cant be opted for.

Lost or Damaged Indian Passport: FAQs

  • Q: Is water damaged passport valid?

    Ans: The extent of damage will decide the validity of a passport. If the water damage has erased the passport number, name or important information, then the passport is invalid, and you must apply for a new one.
  • Q: How can I get a duplicate Indian passport abroad?

    Ans: There is no provision for a duplicate passport available. In case of theft, loss or damage of your passport, you must apply for a fresh one. If you are abroad, then you must report the passport theft or loss to the local police. You must then contact the Indian Embassy to get an Emergency Certificate (EC) to return to India.
  • Q: Is tatkaal re-issue possible for passports damaged beyond recognition?

    Ans: No, passports that have been damaged beyond recognition can’t be applied for re-issue under tatkaal scheme.

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*Price shown is for a 30 day trip to Thailand with 1 lakh dollar coverage for an adult of age 25 years

 
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