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Australian Passports: your easy guide to passport renewal, replacement and application

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure – whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we’ve got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

Thinking about travelling for the first time or planning your first trip since the start of Australia’s COVID-19 travel restrictions? This guide to passport renewal and issuing will take you step-by-step through the process and answer any questions you might have.

One thing that may have snuck up on a lot of us is the expiry of our passport. Without a current passport, you simply can’t go overseas. In many cases, you even need at least six months left on your passport. Many Australians have held back on renewing their passport so they don’t waste money in a year when they can’t fly, but now may be the time to start getting prepared.

This information was correct as of 09 April 2021.

General passport information

Getting a new passport is an exciting experience. There’s nothing quite like having a fresh passport with blank pages bound between its covers. Here are some common questions travellers have about getting new passports or applying for a passport renewal. You can find more information about passports on Smart Traveller.

Passport renewal can be done online in Australia

How old do you have to be to have a passport?

Australian passports come in two styles: adult and child.

Anyone under 18 is eligible for a child passport. These generally have to be applied for by a parent or guardian, but there are some exceptions for people who are married or live independently.

Adult passports are valid for ten years, but those aged 75 or over can apply for a five-year passport renewal.

Where is my closest passport office?

There are eight passport offices in Australia. Unless you are going to pick up a passport, you need to make an appointment before attending. These passport offices are in:

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Darwin
  • Hobart
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney

Full addresses and opening hours can be found on DFAT.gov.au.

If you’re applying from overseas, you’ll need to go to an embassy or consulate. These are normally in a country’s capital city, but you can find a full list of international embassies and consulates on DFAT.gov.au.

What is the cost for a new passport?

A ten-year passport for an adult costs $301- this is the same for a brand new application and a passport renewal. Australians over 75 only have the option of a five-year passport which costs $152.

There are additional or other fees that you may be charged. You can pay $189 for a replacement passport if it has two or more years validity on it. An emergency overseas passport costs $189 while a standard overseas surcharge is $135.

Priority processing costs $220.

Following recent disasters, those who have been a victim of flooding or bushfires may be eligible for a free replacement.

How much is a child’s passport?

A child’s passport in Australia costs $152 and is valid for five years. If overseas, there’s a $66 surcharge. Priority processing for a child’s passport is also $220.

Children aged 16 or 17 can pay $301 for a ten-year passport.

A child at an airport

Do you need a passport to travel on domestic flights?

In Australia, you don’t need a passport for domestic flights but you do need a form of valid ID. This can be your passport, but you can use another form of ID like your driving licence.

Do you need a passport to book an international flight?

As well as needing a passport to step onto an international flight, many carriers now require you to enter your passport details when booking a flight.

What should you do if your passport is lost or stolen when in Australia?

If you can’t find your passport – either because it’s lost or it’s stolen – you should report it immediately. You can do this by calling 131 232 or by visiting your closest Australian passport office. When you do this, you may need an appointment.

To replace your passport, you can start your application online at passports.gov.au.

What should you do if your passport is lost or stolen when overseas?

Losing a passport overseas can be a huge hassle, but knowing that you should visit your nearest embassy or consulate service is a good first step towards your passport renewal. You will also need to pay the $189 overseas replacement fee and the overseas surcharge fee ($135 for adults, $66 for children).  

Passport taken from backpack

Passport renewal

What’s the process for passport renewal?

Passport applications can be started online at passports.gov.au but you must complete the process in person. This can be done at an Australian Post Office or at a consulate. If you are overseas, you may have to travel to your nearest Australian Embassy.

How long does it take for passport renewal in Australia?

Passport renewal generally takes up to three weeks. That’s the case whether the old one has expired, been lost or been stolen.

However, in some cases, you may be able to pay an extra fee of $220 to speed up the service. So long as you have all your documents in place, this service takes just two business days.  

Plane tickets on a computer keyboard

What’s the quickest you can get a passport renewed?

So long as you’re in Australia, you can pay a $220 surcharge to ensure that your passport renewal is completed in two business days. You can then pick it up from your nearest passport office or wait for it to be posted to you (in around one week).

Can your Australian passport renewal be done online?

No, your passport renewal cannot be done online. Although you can begin your passport application online to save time, all passport applications have to be lodged in person. This ensures a high level of security for Australia and allows us access to visa-free travel in many parts of the world.

When should you start the passport renewal process?

While you can renew your passport at any time, doing it too early will mean you pay before you really need to. To keep your travel options active, you should aim to complete passport renewal applications at 9-12 months before it’s due to expire as some countries require at least six months of validity.

Passports can be renewed once they’ve expired, but only within three years of their expiry date.

Passport stamps and world map

Discover where you can travel from Australia

Making plans to get back out there? Find out whose borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.

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Have a passport in hand and ready to plan your next trip? Skyscanner Australia can help you find the best flight, hotel and car hire options for your journey.