What to Do in a Passport Emergency


“My passport is expired/lost/stolen, but I’m travelling in a few days - help!”

This scenario is not uncommon. You book a trip several months in advance. A week before, you start to pack and get ready for your vacation. A few days before you leave, you remember to pull your passport out - and when you check it, you realize that it expired - two months ago!

Or maybe your passport isn’t there when you go to pull it out - it’s lost, or maybe even stolen!

This blog post will provide an overview of the options you have when you need to renew your passport or apply for a new passport in Canada on very short notice.

Can I travel with an expired passport, or with some other identity document?

No. If you are travelling internationally, you must have a valid passport.

Some countries also require your passport to be valid for at least six months before they will allow you entry. You can read the Government of Canada’s travel advisories to view the entry and exit requirements of each country. You can also check with the Government of Canada office of the country you visit.

As a best practice, renew your passport at least six months before it expires.

Urgent and express passport services

Generally, processing times for passport applications submitted in Canada take between ten business days (for applications submitted in person at a passport office) to 20 business days (submitted in person at a Service Canada or by mail).

But what if you need your passport in less than ten days?

You have two options: urgent services, and express services.

You must apply for urgent and express services in person at select passport offices. If you use the urgent services, your passport will be ready for pick up by the end of the next business day. The service fee for urgent service is $110, plus the regular passport fee. If you use the express service, your passport will be ready in two to nine business days. The service fee for express service is $50, plus the regular passport fee.

You must provide proof of travel for urgent service. You may also need to provide it for express service.

Proof of travel can be:

  • an airline, bus or train ticket

  • a written declaration, if travelling by car

  • a travel itinerary showing travel proof of payment

  • proof of illness or death in the family requiring immediate travel

Depending on the reason for your travel, you may need to show further proof that your situation is urgent.

You will also need to provide the completed application form and the necessary documents for either renewing your passport or applying for a new passport.

If your passport is lost, stolen or damaged, you will need to provide the completed application form, the necessary documents and a Declaration concerning a lost, stolen, inaccessible, damaged or found Canadian travel document. This declaration does not need to be notarized.

Emergency help in Canada on a weekend or statutory holiday

If you need your passport over the weekend or on a statutory holiday, contact the Passport Program’s emergency hotline at 1-800-567-6868. This service is only for emergencies and only if you have to travel over that weekend or statutory holiday. The fee for emergency service is $335 plus the regular passport fee.

Do I need a guarantor for my passport application? Can Downtown Notary be my guarantor?

If you are applying for a new passport, you will need a guarantor. Guarantors are security measures to confirm your identity.

One of the basic requirements for passport guarantors is that they must have known you for at least two years. Because of this requirement, Downtown Notary generally cannot be your guarantor.

For more information on who can be your guarantor, visit References and guarantors for passports and travel document applications.

What if I don’t have anyone who can act as my guarantor?

If you do not know anyone who meets the criteria for being a guarantor, you can complete form PPTC 132 Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor. You can get this form from any passport office or by calling the Passport Program. This form is not available for download from the internet.

This form must be sworn to before, and signed by a notary public. If you need to sign a statutory declaration in lieu of guarantor, Downtown Notary can help! If you’re in a rush, don’t worry - we can usually accommodate urgent requests, and appointments generally take less than 15 minutes. Want to learn more? Contact us today. Ready to get started? Book your appointment now!


This blog post is for information purposes only. It does not, nor does it intend to, replace the Government of Canada’s resources on Canadian passports. For more information, visit the Government of Canada’s web page on Canadian passports. If you have a question about how to get or renew your Canadian passport, contact your nearest passport office.

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