Information for Canadian law enforcement

The Canadian passport is a valuable document that, in addition to facilitating international travel, also demonstrates identity and citizenship. Information sharing between the Passport Program and our national and international security partners is a key element to protecting the security of Canadian travel documents.

Guidelines for the handling of lost, stolen and found passports and travel documents

Stolen Canadian passport or travel document

When a member of the public reports the theft of a Canadian passport/travel document to law enforcement, the Passport Program requests that the law enforcement agency:

  • Accept the report of theft;
  • Advise the complainant to immediately report the theft to the Passport Program by calling 1-800-567-6868 or presenting themselves at a passport office. Outside Canada, a report should be made at the nearest Government of Canada office abroad.

Once a passport/travel document has been reported stolen, it must never be returned to the bearer as it is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel. If the passport/travel document is later found or recovered, the Passport Program requests that the law enforcement agency return the document to the Passport Program directly (see address below).

Lost Canadian passport or travel document

When a member of the public reports the loss of a Canadian passport/travel document to law enforcement, the Passport Program requests that the law enforcement agency:

  • Advise the complainant to immediately report the loss to the Passport Program by calling 1-800-567-6868 or presenting themselves at a passport office. Outside Canada, a report should be made at the nearest Government of Canada office abroad.

Once a passport/travel document has been reported lost, it must never be returned to the bearer as it is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel. If the passport/travel document is later found or recovered, the Passport Program requests that the law enforcement agency return the document to the Passport Program directly (see address below).

Found Canadian passport or travel document that is returned to police

All found Canadian passports and travel documents must be returned to the Passport Program. A Canadian passport or travel document that is returned to law enforcement should never be returned to the bearer under any circumstances.
When in possession of a found passport or travel document, the law enforcement agency must:

  • Obtain a written statement from the individual of where, when and how he or she found the passport or travel document; and
  • Return the passport or travel document to the Passport Program (at the address below) with:
    • full contact details or business card of the law enforcement officer; and
    • a copy of the police occurrence report or a note detailing the circumstances (how, who, where, when) the passport or travel document was recovered.

    Program Integrity Branch
    3rd Floor
    Gatineau, QC  K1A 1L1
    Canada

    Consult Appendix III-5-D of the CPIC manual for the physical address for traceable mail.

The Passport Program’s process for handling lost or stolen Canadian passports or travel documents

When the Passport Program becomes aware that a Canadian passport/travel document is lost or stolen:

  • The Passport Program invalidates the document.
    • Once it has been reported lost or stolen, the passport/travel document is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel. This is to ensure that it is not used for fraudulent purposes.
  • The Passport Program disseminates information.
    • The Passport Program enters information about lost and stolen passports/travel documents into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). INTERPOL obtains this data from CPIC and uploads it into their Lost, Stolen and Fraudulent Document (LSFD) database, where it can be accessed by member countries and border officials.
    • The Passport Program also provides information about lost and stolen passports/travel documents to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) directly. CBSA uploads this information into their systems, making it accessible to their frontline officers.

Guidelines for the handling of seized or surrendered Canadian passports or travel documents

The Passport Program’s legal authority and mandate are derived from the Canadian Passport Order. Pursuant to section 3(c) of the Order, Canadian passports/travel documents remain the property of Her Majesty in right of Canada at all times. In respect of this property right, it is important that the Passport Program be advised immediately when a law enforcement agency seizes a Canadian passport/travel document, or when a court orders an accused to surrender his or her passport/travel document. Law enforcement must provide this notice via CPIC. Please see Appendix III-5-D of the CPIC manual for additional information.

Upon being advised that a Canadian passport/travel document has been seized or surrendered, the Passport Program will notify the agency by CPIC message that the passport/travel document must be returned as soon as possible. Law enforcement may also advise the passport/travel document bearer that the document in question has been returned to the Passport Program and to contact the Passport Program once his/her legal issues are resolved. Note that a template letter can be obtained from the Passport Program should individuals in this situation have questions about the whereabouts of the travel document issued in their name.

As well, upon being advised that a Canadian passport/travel document has been seized or surrendered, the Passport Program will re-assess the individual’s ongoing entitlement to passport/travel document services. This assessment may result in formal revocation proceedings and the imposition of a period of withheld service.

Returning seized and surrendered Canadian passports/travel documents to the Passport Program will:

  • safeguard the security, value and integrity of Canadian passports/travel documents;
  • ensure the identity of its bearer is not compromised.

Seized and surrendered Canadian passports/travel documents should be returned by traceable mail to the Passport Program (see below) at the earliest opportunity along with your full contact details and a copy of the recognizance, undertaking, bail document, interim release document, court order or seizure notice.

Program Integrity Branch
3rd Floor
Gatineau, QC  K1A 1L1
Canada

Consult Appendix III-5-D of the CPIC manual for the physical address for traceable mail.

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