1. Lodge a report at the nearest police station
This is an absolutely crucial step. Your passport holds a lot of information and can be used to steal your identity by unscrupulous people. Reporting a lost passport as soon as possible helps to protect you in the event illegal activities are tied to your identity.
If you lose your passport due to negligence (i.e not stolen), you will have to pay a fine ranging from RM200 to RM1000 and will not be able to claim it under insurance. If it was stolen or lost from unavoidable incidences such as fire or flood, your case will be investigated and you will be able to claim your insurance.
2. Get in touch with your insurance agent
Your travel insurance agent will be able to advise you on where to go, what to do, and how to proceed to get a new passport or temporary travel documents. They will guide you to the embassy, and send over documents and details to assist you. These most insurance companies have international 24/7 hotlines for emergencies.
Do know that your insurance will cover all expenses incurred to obtain replacement travel documents up to RM7500. This includes transportation from where you are to the nearest Malaysian embassy, reasonable accommodation costs, as well as communication costs like having to make international phone calls or pay for internet data. Just make sure to keep all receipts, as that will be crucial in claiming from your insurance provider the costs incurred by you as result of lost passport.
3. Visit the Malaysian embassy to report the loss of your passport
The embassy is usually in the capital of the country. If the country you’re in doesn’t have an Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, it is possible to seek help from a neighbouring country's embassy like Thailand or Singapore for your lost passport replacement process.
The embassy will issue an emergency certificate that acts as a temporary passport. This document is a one way, one use pass that is valid for 12 months. To apply for the emergency certificate, you will need to bring the following:
- An alternate form of identification like your identity card or driver’s licence
- The police report
- Flight ticket stubs/ confirmation
- 2 passport photos
Side note: Application for an emergency certificate may take 3 to 5 days working days to process. However, in case of emergency or urgent matters, there is usually an expediency fee you can pay to speed up the process.
4. Once home, apply for a new passport
Once you have your emergency certificate, you will not be able to fly anywhere else but home. If the rest of your vacation does not include any flights or border crossing, you may finish it and then return home.
You can then head over to the nearest Immigration office (Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia) to apply for a new passport. Before that, don't forget to make another police report at police station in Malaysia. This is needed in order to apply for a new passport. Take note that applying for a new passport under these circumstances may take a little longer to do this as soon as possible.
5. Don't forget to compile your receipts and documents for insurance claiming
To claim your insurance, it is crucial to save all receipts for any meals, accommodation and transportation and submit it to your agent within 60 - 90 days of returning home. Depending on your insurance policy for a lost passport, there will either be a per day limit or an overall policy limit. However, none of it will be claimable if you do not document it, so this is really important.
IMPORTANT: Do These Things Before Travelling
Bear in mind that situation like this can happen to anyone, no matter how careful you are. Not to sound like a pessimist, but it's important to be prepared for the worst so that you won't get panic. Some of the things you need to do before travelling are:
- Keep a copy your passport. You can snap a photo or make a photocopy
- Get the information on the nearest Malaysian embassy or consultation office of the country that you wish to travel
- email the Ministry of Foreign Affairs your travelling affairs and include the itinerary if you want to. They will forward it to the embassy. This is important in case any unfortunate even happens like riots or disasters.
To end this article, we wish you safe travels and hope you never have to deal with missing passports or replacement passport process overseas. However, if you ever do, now you know what to do!