A passport is an incredibly important piece of documentation. It has someone’s full name, date of birth, passport number and often a home address or address of their emergency contact. However, passports are also incredibly easy to lose. Over 300,000 people misplace their passports per year. But have you ever thought about the person who finds that lost passport?
Picture this: You’re an organisation, such as an airport, transport company, hotel or any visitor attraction, that has a large amount of lost property to handle. You have a huge stack of lost passports that have been handed in to your lost property office, and you don’t know what to do with them. They’ve been there for months, maybe years, so it’s acceptable to assume the owner will have replaced their passport. It’s time to get rid of these old passports sustainably.
To date, NotLost has had nearly 500 passports logged onto the system!
This blog post will explore the best way to dispose of a lost passport that isn’t yours. We’ll give you the full information regarding how to deal with the passport, including:
How do I get rid of an old, expired passport?
Firstly, do not throw the passport in the bin. According to the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), more than 10,000 people a year throw their passports in the rubbish. This will leave the true owner vulnerable to identity theft if it happens to end up in the wrong hands and will contribute to landfill waste unnecessarily.
Can I recycle a passport?
Passports are currently not recyclable. The UK Passport office states that once sent back to them, they will be ‘appropriately disposed of’. It’s unclear what this actually means however it’s likely to be that the passports are incinerated and/or sent to landfill securely due to the materials they are made of.
Where do I send a British passport?
Chances are the majority of the passports you have are British. Simply send the passports in the post to the Passport Office address:
FREEPOST HM PASSPORT OFFICE
Southport PO BOX 767
How do I send a passport in the post?
- Simply place your passports in a package, such as an envelope, jiffy bag or cardboard box, depending on the number you have.
- Include a small note – The Passport Office recommends you also include a note in the package regarding the passports. Here’s an example of what we send from NotLost HQ:
This package contains unclaimed passports that we have acquired in our lost property.
Please help us by disposing of these passports responsibly.
- Write the address of the UK Passport Office clearly on the front of the box. (No need to put a stamp on the package as you are sending to a freepost address).
- Take the package to your nearest post office and send the passports on their way!
The Top 15 foreign embassies in the UK
You’ve found a passport that isn’t British. Where do you send a foreign passport to be disposed of?
Based on data reporting the most common non-British nationalities living in the UK, we’ve provided the addresses of 15 embassies or consulates in the UK. These are: Poland, Romania, India, Ireland, Portugal, Lithuania, France, Pakistan, Spain, China, USA, Italy, Bangladesh, Germany and South Africa.
Note: These embassies do not have freepost addresses so make sure to put a stamp on the package before you send it!
Consular of Poland
10 Bouverie Street
Consular Section – London
344 Kensington High Street
Office of the High Commissioner for India
Embassy of Ireland Passport & Visa Office
114A Cromwell Road
Embassy of Portugal
11 Belgrave Square
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
2 Bessborough Gardens
Embassy of France
6 Cromwell Place
Embassy of Pakistan
34-36 Lowndes Square
Embassy of Spain
39 Chesham Place
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
United States of America
33 Nine Elms Lane
Embassy of Italy
14 Three Kings’ Yard
High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
28 Queen’s Gate
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square
High Commission of the Republic of South Africa
South Africa House
In this blog post, we have outlined the best way to handle the lost passports you may have in your lost property office. Passports are to be sent back to either the UK Passport Office or the embassy or consulate that represents a foreign state in the UK. We’ve outlined the best ways to send back these passports securely and listed 15 of the most commonly used embassies & consulates in the UK, all so your lost property system can run smoothly from start to finish.
Join a growing community of businesses that are modernising their lost property system with NotLost’s transformational lost and found software solution. Find out more about How it Works, as well as our Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates.
Missed our last blog post? Find it here – UK Festivals Review – August 2019 for an in-depth look at how our platform has assisted some of the UK’s biggest music festivals.