To many people their passport isn?t something they give much thought to beyond “it?s the little book that lets me fly to other countries, and it?s important to not let it get lost or stolen”. And that?s understandable – a lot of us don?t fly internationally very often, so we don?t need to pay that much attention to our passports. But regardless of your flying frequency, there are some things that you should know about both your passport, and the processes required for getting one.
You need original documents
When applying for your passport, keep in mind that you must have original versions of documents such as birth certificates and driver license. Copies will not be accepted; however a certified true copy can be accepted.
The waiting period
If you need a passport for an upcoming trip, go and lodge your application ASAP! It can take up to three weeks for your application to be processed, and you don?t want to miss out on your holiday simply because you left your application too late. You also don?t want to be sweating on it arriving in the mail a day or two before you leave. Be sure to carefully and thoroughly fill out your application form(s) to avoid any delays in processing – they can be very picky!
Remember to renew!
Once you?ve gone through the time and effort (and spent the money) involved in getting a passport, why go through all that again? It takes much less time and money to simply renew your passport when it?s close to expiry, rather than letting it expire and having to apply for another one.
What if you lose your passport?
If you?re unfortunate enough to lose your passport while overseas, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, you absolutely must report it, as required by law. If you need to travel soon, you can be given an emergency passport at an Australian embassy or consulate. This will require you to sit an interview and pay a fee. On the other hand, if you?re not travelling for some time, a standard passport can be made for you, and sent to you overseas.
Check your travel insurance policy: according to CANSTAR?s research, around 78% of travel insurance policies will compensate you for the cost of the loss of travel documents.
In short, the three key things to remember are: apply quickly, don?t let it expire, and try not to lose it. It?s as simple as that.