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So I’m travelling to France at the end of November.

I got a new passport a few years back after losing my old passport.

I’ve now lost my new passport but found the previously lost passport when moving house.

Can I travel on the previously lost passport?

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  • 6
    When you got your new one, did you report the old one as lost and apply for a replacement? Oct 13, 2021 at 15:43
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    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/161971/… (answer deals mostly with the case of finding the passport while the new application is still being processed) and travel.stackexchange.com/questions/127226/… (situation in France, but the practice is the same)
    – jcaron
    Oct 13, 2021 at 16:46
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    Look for your new passport. You should find it. Two lost passport in few years, and magically find the old one: I think someone will check carefully what you are doing (trafficking, etc.). So find the passport. And find a way to store it in an unforgettable place. Remember: passport is not your property. Oct 14, 2021 at 13:36
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    If lost passports remained valid this would be an enormous security hole - anyone could "lose" as many passports as they liked, selling the perfectly valid "lost" ones on the black market each time they got a replacement.
    – J...
    Oct 14, 2021 at 13:41
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    Does this answer your question? Can I travel on a passport that found after reporting it to the police as lost? Oct 14, 2021 at 14:11

4 Answers 4

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No, you can not.

Once a passport is reported lost it is invalidated and placed in a database called the Stolen and Lost Travel Document database managed by Interpol. Attempting to use it in the UK or any other country that uses the Interpol SLTD database (which includes most countries globally) will at a minimum result in you being denied travel and potentially detained at least temporarily whilst the details of the document are determined.

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    If it contains stamps you need to show someone, you can do that, but you'll need to show the new one first and you'll probably be asked to explain why you have both. Better to not even show the old one unless asked for something in it. There are six similar questions in the "Related" column as I write this.
    – WGroleau
    Oct 13, 2021 at 17:10
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    @WGroleau Officially, I would not presume that to be the case. A visa in a 'lost' passport would also be considered 'lost', which would generally invalidate it. If the visa it's hasn't been formally reported as lost then you'd probably get away with it, but there's no guarantee.
    – Doc
    Oct 13, 2021 at 18:39
  • It's never happened tome, so I'm certainly not an expert. But I've seen may people in more than one forum or QA site say that if you need a visa that's not in a new passport, that you can show it in the old one. Obviously you can't when you don't have the old one, and thus might need a new visa. How many people who lose a passport would also tell the country that issued the visa (unless they are requesting a new visa)?
    – WGroleau
    Oct 13, 2021 at 21:22
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    @WGroleau visas often mention the number of the passport in which they were issued. Using a valid visa in an expired passport is one thing; using a visa that has at least implicitly been reported lost is another. The country issuing the visa might be tracking lost passport reports as might the destination country or the airline. Maybe they aren't, but I wouldn't want to risk being denied boarding or being turned back at the border when I could instead apply for a new visa.
    – phoog
    Oct 13, 2021 at 21:36
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This is what the Home Office guidance says in its document Guidance for paper passport applications (p6):

Section 3: Details of previous and current passports held

Uncancelled passports

Lost or stolen

If your passport has been lost or stolen, but you haven’t reported it yet, fill in part C. Give us as many details as you can and tell us how the passport was lost or stolen. Please use section 8 if there is not enough space in the boxes provided. If your passport was stolen, report the theft to the local police and include the crime reference number at section 8. We will cancel your lost or stolen passport when we receive your application.

[emphasis added]

So at some point when you applied for your new passport, you already gave them details of this one & it has been cancelled. They then go on to say:

If you later find the passport which you reported lost or stolen, you must return it to us. You will no longer be able to use the passport. You may be held by the immigration authorities or the police if you try to do so.

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  • "Please use section 8 if there is not enough space in the boxes provided" — wow, that's what I call service!
    – MC Emperor
    Oct 15, 2021 at 11:04
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As others have said, all passports reported as lost/stolen are cancelled, and cannot be used.

The UK Passport Office used to require any subsequently found passports to be send to them. The main advantage of doing this for you, is that they record how often you lose your passport. If you make too many reports, it can be more onerous to get a replacement passport in the future. Returning the found passport may remove one of these counts against you.

I can't see any current requirement to return your found passports to them (they do provide details of what to do if you find someone else's passport). If I were you, I'd probably return the passport with a covering letter to them. One address is

HMPO, Globe House, 89 Eccleston Square, London, SW1V 1PN

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No, you can’t if you already have a new passport, because then that passport wouldn't be registered any more, so you probably have to file for a replacement.

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