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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! 

total passports

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:

lost passport lost property

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
Southport
PR89 PW

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:
Hello,
This package contains unclaimed passports that we have acquired in our lost property.
Please help us by disposing of these passports responsibly.
Thank you!
  • 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).

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!

Poland 
Consular of Poland
Bravura House
10 Bouverie Street
London
EC4Y 8AX

Romania 
Consular Section – London
M.E.I.C. House
344 Kensington High Street
London
W14 8NS

India 
Office of the High Commissioner for India
India House
Aldwych
WC2B 4NA


Ireland 
Embassy of Ireland Passport & Visa Office
114A Cromwell Road
London
SW7 4ES

Portugal  
Embassy of Portugal
11 Belgrave Square
London 
SW1X 8PP

Lithuania  
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
Lithuania House
2 Bessborough Gardens
SW1V 2JE


France   
Embassy of France 
6 Cromwell Place
London
SW7 2JN

Pakistan    
Embassy of Pakistan
34-36 Lowndes Square
London
SW1X 9JN

Spain    
Embassy of Spain
39 Chesham Place
London
SW1X 8SB


Spain    
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London 
W1B 1JL

United States of America    
U.S Embassy
33 Nine Elms Lane
London
SW11 7US

Italy
Embassy of Italy
14 Three Kings’ Yard
Davies Street
London
W1K 4EH


Bangladesh
High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh
28 Queen’s Gate
London
SW7 5JA 

Germany
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square
Chesham Place
London
SW1X 8PZ

South Africa
High Commission of the Republic of South Africa
South Africa House
Trafalgar Square
London
WC2N 5DP

In conclusion 

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.