News story

Don't rubbish your passport

More than 10,000 people a year accidentally throw their passports out with the rubbish, according to new figures released today.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Identity and Passport Service research also shows a 60:40 split between genders when it comes to replacing lost and stolen passports, with more than 162,500 passports replaced each year by men compared to around 112,000 by women.

Around 40 per cent (110,000) of the passports replaced each year belong to people in their twenties, with approximately 10,000 of those lost while on a night out in a bar or club.

Unusual examples

The more unusual reasons given for losing a passport included:

  • placed on a fire with clothes
  • lost while in prison
  • put in bin by infant daughter
  • drunk boyfriend (now ex) destroyed it
  • fell out of bag while snowboarding on a mountain
  • last seen in the pocket of a coat donated to tramp
  • wallet was stolen at a children’s party with passports inside

Sarah Rapson, chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service, said: ‘Your passport is not only increasingly attractive to fraudsters, but it will cost you at least £77.50 to replace, so it’s really important that you keep it safe both when you are at home and when you’re abroad.’

There are four simple steps you can take to keep your passport safe:

  • only carry your passport when it is absolutely necessary
  • use alternatives to your passport if you need to prove your age
  • lock your passport away in a secure location when abroad
  • if it’s in a safe, make sure the safe is fixed securely to the wall

If your passport is lost or stolen, keeping a note of the passport number will help us identify your record and issue a replacement as quickly as possible.’

For information on what can be done if you have lost your passport, please visit the Direct Gov website or call the advice line on 0300 222 0000.

Published 21 April 2011