Tips for lost passports or wallets: before, during, and after

By Vanessa Arès, Marketing

Loss Wallet

Well before the swimsuit and sunscreen, your most valuable possessions when travelling are your passport and wallet. Here’s how you can try and prevent it, and what to do if it happens to you while away.

Lost or stolen passport


Take care of your passport and keep it in a safe place. Also, make photocopies of it. If it gets stolen, this could help speed up the process of replacing it.


Report the incident to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad and to the local police. Obtaining a proper police report can prove to be very useful.

Ask the Government of Canada office for a temporary passport. However, to get one certain conditions must be met. For this, the Government of Canada website contains a wealth of information. Remember that once a passport is reported as lost or stolen, it is no longer valid and should not be used for travel (even if you find later).

If a temporary passport can’t be issued, ask for an emergency travel document. It’s valid for a limited time and allows you to return to Canada or to go to the nearest full-service Government of Canada office.


Ask for a replacement passport at any Passport Canada office. You can also submit your application by mail or courier.

Lost or stolen wallet


Protect yourself from pickpockets: avoid storing your wallet in the back pocket of your jeans and don’t leave your belongings unattended. Be especially vigilant in airports, train stations, subways and crowded tourist hotspots.

Make photocopies of your important documents (health card, driver’s license, etc.) and keep them separate from the originals. Also keep a copy at home.


Cancel the cards that were lost as soon as possible to prevent potential fraud.

Get a police report so that you can present it if your credit card is used before its cancellation.

If necessary, make a transfer of funds. Commercial agencies such as Western Union may be helpful in such circumstances.

Notify your insurance agent about the situation as well as the transportation company you travelled with to replace any travel tickets.


Quickly replace your lost or stolen documents. Almost all the documents issued by the government can only be replaced in Canada, such as your driver’s license and birth certificate (see the Government of Canada’s website for a complete list).

If, despite all your precautions, you are robbed or you lose your identification, don’t panic. Use these tips to help you get everything back in order.

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