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Lost, stolen or damaged passport? Sounds like a disaster, right? The process of getting an emergency passport for UK citizens is actually not as bad as you may think. Here’s how to go about getting a emergency British passport in Europe when you need to get home but you’ve had your passport stolen or lost.
Tips and advice for getting a European Emergency Passport as part of the Travellers Insight series
WHY I NEEDED AN EMERGENCY PASSPORT
PASSPORT PROBLEMS – EMERGENCY PASSPORT
The important point to remember is that if you passport is stolen you must get a police report to prove so, also you need this for travel insurance purposes (something that you should realistically always have).
Travellers Insight – Always have a copies of your important documents somewhere, even if it’s with a family member back home… I’ve mentioned this before in my Travel Hacks post on packing right.
LIFE WITHOUT MY PASSPORT
My no-phone-no-bank-card problems only added to my no passport problem. Until my parents were able to get new ones to me I couldn’t actually pay for a passport, or contact anyone about it. If anyone has ever lived in Italy you’ll understand how hit and miss the postal system can be. It took weeks to receive these items from the UK. Still, none of this made obtaining a passport any easier. I couldn’t exactly post everything off and hope I’d receive a shiny new passport in the Italian post with no complications.
So, what did I do? Nothing. I ignored the problem until it was time to come home. This is where the emergency passport comes in, I read somewhere in the midst of my research all about the ultimate lifesaver. The emergency passport.
GETTING HOME ON AN EMERGENCY PASSPORT
Getting an emergency passport is a relatively straightforward process, especially if you prepare in advance. Check online for British passport offices and embassies. I was lucky that Milan was only a short train right away and that’s where my flight was from. Preferably don’t leave it until a couple of hours before your flight because there are time restrictions on obtaining an emergency travel document.
There are limits on how early before travelling you can get an emergency passport all this information can be found online. Take your passport documents, police report, photos and some form of identification to the embassy. Sit tight and be polite and expect your white UK emergency passport to be with you in the hour.
A white emergency passport, stating ’emergency’ with the classic gold coat of armour on the front that can only be used per one flight. Expect to have your emergency passport snatched off you at customs upon entering the homeland. I had hoped to keep mine as a souvenir of my Italian troubles. But somewhere once-upon-a-time the rule changed and UK emergency passports became single enter only. You cannot, under any circumstances go travelling on an emergency passport or use it more than once.