Destroy travel docs & dossiers

Destroying travel documents that are not claimed

Where a client fails to collect a full validity passport within 60 days of its availability for collection from the passport office, the passport may be destroyed in accordance with standard destruction procedures. However a reminder letter should be sent after the first 30 days. A destruction certificate must be completed.

All reminder collection notices should be kept on file with the destruction certificate. Posts may hold the passport for longer than 60 days at the request of the client or if the post deems that this is necessary. Posts must ensure that any unclaimed passports are accounted for while being held by the post.

The same procedure applies to passports which are found and returned to a Passport Office or overseas mission. A detailed narrative explaining the circumstances of the destruction must be placed in PICS.

Applications to replace passports which have been destroyed in the circumstances described above may only be accepted with payment of the full document fee, a fully completed application form and provision of all supporting documentation.

Destroying application forms (dossiers)

Passport application dossiers that have been scanned may be destroyed 60 days after the last action on the application (including investigation) has been completed.

Applications which are on hold (e.g. ASO referral) cannot be destroyed until at least 60 days after all action has been completed. Passports Fraud Section should be consulted before destroying any applications which have been referred to them for investigation.

Before dossiers are destroyed approval should be sought from the relevant passport office manager in Australia, SAO in DFAT overseas missions/posts and the Head of Austrade-managed overseas posts who undertake passport processing and an NAS45 form (“Australian Archives: Notification of Records Destroyed”) completed. Once the dossiers have been appropriately destroyed, send a signed copy of the NAS45 form to Corporate Records Section (COR). Only sign the NAS45 after the dossiers have been destroyed.

Payment of fees

Fee payment methods

Preferred methods of payment in Australia are cash, EFTPOS, MasterCard and Visa. Money orders will also be accepted. Cheques (personal/business/bank cheques) and American Express (AMEX) and Diners Club cards are not accepted.

At overseas posts cash in local currency is generally acceptable. Senior Administrative Officers may approve other methods.

Fee schedules and acceptable payment methods must be prominently displayed in all passport reception areas and should be published on official websites.

Overseas currency conversions

Overseas posts must calculate local currency equivalents of the fees for Australian travel documents. This is done on the first working day of the month (or on the last working day every month in preparation for the next working day/month). The rate to be used is based on the most recent rate listed in the exchange rates database (provided by the Finance Branch in Canberra and available from the Corporate Information Database).

The calculation process is:

When the exchange rate has changed by three percent or more since the last adjustment to the fee schedule then new fees will apply from opening of business on the next working day (i.e. the first working day of the month). The new fees must be entered into PICS/TARDIS, and where necessary cash registers, promptly.

The fee schedule displayed in the passports reception area, and where applicable the post’s website, must be updated promptly to reflect any changes.

Fees paid where application not lodged

The Australian Passports (Application Fees) Act 2005, Section 7, requires full payment of the application fee at the time that an application is accepted. All revenue must be able to be attributed to the office that issued the passport and be able to be reconciled against the form/application number.

Payments should no longer be accepted in locations other than where the application is being lodged. However, if there are exceptional circumstances (see below) a client may ask to have their passport application paid for in another Passport Office or overseas post from where the application is being lodged – for example parents paying in Australia for their child who is applying for a replacement passport overseas (e.g. because the child’s previous passport was lost or stolen).

Clients should be advised to use commercial money transfer facilities (e.g. banks, Western Union or similar) where practicable. Alternatively the provisions of the Consular Handbook, section 28.4.1(ii) may be applicable – i.e. a travellers emergency loan.