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Look after your Travel Documents Public awareness campaign #DontRiskIt (9/12/19)


Your passport is just as valuable as your credit card – treat it that way!

#DontRiskIt Keep it safe at all times, whether at home or travelling.

Why are passports so valuable?

Stolen and lost passports are highly valuable to terrorists and international criminals who use them to cross borders undetected.

In the wrong hands, your passport is like a weapon.

In several major terrorist attacks over recent decades, the perpetrators had travelled internationally using invalid passports to conceal their identity.

A lost or stolen passport can help:

  • fugitives to escape justice
  • foreign terrorist fighters to travel to or from conflict zones
  • human trafficking networks to get their victims across borders.

Even if no one tries to travel on your passport, it could still leave you vulnerable to identity theft. Someone could use your passport for criminal purposes, such as opening a bank account as part of a money laundering process.

What should I do if I lose my passport or it gets stolen?

Report a lost or stolen passport immediately to the Passport Service and let the Gardaí know in order to protect yourself from identity fraud.

How does reporting my passport make any difference?

When you report your passport as lost or stolen, it is entered this into a national database, in line with national standard operating procedures.

Ireland then shares this data with INTERPOL through our secure police network (known as “I-24/7”) and it goes into our SLTD database. SLTD stands for “stolen and lost travel documents”.

Passport Control officials at frontline locations – such as airports and border crossings - can check a travel document against the SLTD database to see if it is valid, getting a result in seconds.

If the database search triggers a match, police can take follow-up action, for example, taking the passenger aside for questioning or further checks.

What should I do if I find my passport again?

If you have reported a lost passport and you find it again, you should surrender it to the Passport Service or Gardaí as it is no longer valid. Do NOT try to travel on it.

Why can’t I travel on the passport?

If you have reported your passport as lost or stolen, it will no longer be valid for travel.

If you try and use it, border police could call you aside for inspection, taking up time and causing stress, with no guarantee you will able to continue your journey afterwards.

You could be denied boarding and miss your holiday, business trip, or other important reason for travelling. Added to that, you will have wasted money on tickets you can’t use.


If your passport is lost, stolen or damaged while you are overseas and you need a travel document to return home, your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate may be able to help.

For more information on this campaign, see: http://www.interpol.int/passport