Lost, stolen, inaccessible, damaged or found passports

A Canadian passport is a valuable document that you should keep in a safe and dry place at all times.

You must take care of your passport. Even though it meets the International Civil Aviation Organization’s durability standards, you can still damage it through exposure to

  • water or other liquids
  • extreme environments

When you receive your passport, you must read the notice on how to keep your passport in good condition.

If you have reported many passports as damaged, lost or stolen, you may face some restrictions when you apply for a new passport.

What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

If your passport was lost or stolen and it was still valid, contact us as soon as possible.

Once you report a passport lost or stolen, it is no longer valid, even if it is returned or found later. You cannot use it for travel. This is to make sure that it isn’t used for fraudulent purposes.

We are not responsible for any problems you may have at border crossings if you try to use a passport that has been reported lost or stolen.

In Canada

Call 1-800-567-6868 (TTY services: 1-866-255-7655) to report the details of the loss or theft.

For refugee travel documents and certificates of identity

Call 1-888-242-2100 (TTY services: 1-888-576-8502) to report the details of the loss or theft.

Outside Canada

Report the loss or theft to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad.

Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged passport

You may be eligible to renew your passport or you may have to apply for a new passport. Renewing your passport is simpler than applying for a new one.

To find out which application to submit, use our online tool to check if you’re eligible to renew.

If your passport was still valid, you’ll need to

  • submit an additional form to report your lost or stolen passport
    • We’ll tell you which one in the instructions.
  • pay both the
    • regular fees
    • fee for a replacement passport

If your passport was expired, apply through the regular process and pay the usual fees.

Replacing a child’s passport

You cannot renew a child’s passport. You have to apply for a new one.

In addition to the normal requirements to apply for a child’s passport, you need to

What to do if you find a passport

If you find a passport, including your own passport that you reported as lost or stolen:

  • return it to us
  • submit a letter that describes how, when and where you found it

Once someone reports a passport lost or stolen, it is no longer valid. It cannot be used for travel.

In Canada

You can return a found passport with a letter:

  • in person at a passport office
    • Canada Post offices and Service Canada Centres cannot accept found passports
  • in person at your local Police Service or Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) station
  • by registered mail or courier to:

Centralized Network – Passport Protection, 3rd floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 1L1

Outside Canada

You can return a found passport with a letter to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad.

Damaged passports

You should apply for a new passport if your current passport is damaged. If you travel with a damaged passport, you could face delays. You could be denied entry at border crossings or on flights.

A passport is considered damaged if it:

  • makes it difficult to identify the holder
  • looks like it has been changed or falsified
  • has been denied by an airline or at a point of entry due to damage

Examples of damage to a passport include:

  • removal of pages
  • unauthorized markings
  • tears in one or more pages
  • exposure to water or humidity
  • chewing marks from a child or pet
  • change of the information and/or photo
  • separation of the cover and inside pages
  • other forms of damage that aren’t listed here

Border authorities have discretion to allow or refuse your entry or exit. An airline may also prevent you from boarding a plane based on the condition of your passport.

If you’re concerned about the condition of your passport:

  • contact the airline before you leave
  • visit a passport office so they can look at it

Inaccessible passport

If your current passport is inaccessible, contact us. A passport is considered inaccessible when, for example, you have submitted it for a foreign visa and need to travel in the meantime. You will need to submit proof of where your passport is and why you need a passport to travel while it is inaccessible.

Seized or surrendered passport

Travel documents seized by law enforcement authorities or surrendered following a court order are usually returned to us. We keep them until they expire. We then destroy them.

If you want us to return a passport to you before it expires, mail or fax us a request. We will start a passport entitlement review once you submit your:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • current mailing address and phone number
  • explanation of how and why the passport was taken from you
  • copy of the most current court documents relating to release conditions (if it applies)

Send your document(s) to:

Centralized Network – Passport Protection, 3rd floor
Gatineau, QC K1A 1L1

You may also fax the document(s) to 819-953-5856, to the attention of: Integrity Risk Guidance Branch. Send questions about the process to the same address or fax number.

Take care of your passport

You must take care of your passport. If you’ve had more than one passport reported lost, stolen, or damaged, we may:

  • ask you to provide proof of travel before we issue you a new passport
  • limit your passport's validity
  • refuse your application for a new passport

Canada’s passport security doesn’t see a difference between lost and stolen passports. In both cases, you don’t know where your passport is and someone could use it for false purposes.

In both cases, when you report your passport lost or stolen, we will:

  • confirm your identity by asking for identification
    • only the passport holder (or legal parent or guardian for a child) may report a passport lost or stolen
  • ask questions about the circumstances of the loss or theft
  • cancel your passport
  • tell law enforcement and border agencies so no one can use your passport for travel

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