Official Documentation

This section explains what to do if you lose or damage is caused to any of your official documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate.

Lost documentation

If you lose any of your official documentation, such as passport or birth certificate, notify the police immediately. You should also inform the relevant body, for example the Passport Office.

Damaged documentation

If your official documentation is damaged, by flood or fire for example, then it is important to begin replacing them as soon as possible. You should start with your birth certificate, as it will be necessary in obtaining other documentation.

Replacing documentation

Birth Certificates

If you know the registry office where your birth was registered, you can contact them directly to obtain a new copy of your birth certificate. There will be a fee attached to your application depending on the priority level you choose.

You can also contact the General Register Office. They have a priority service where your certificate can be sent to you the next working day, however there is a fee charged for this service, and it is subject to terms and conditions.


You will need a copy of your birth certificate before you can apply for a passport. You may need other proof of address, so should contact your bank for a copy of a previous account statement. Contact Passport Adviceline for specialist information relating to your circumstances.

Who to contact

Document Organisation
Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates     General Register Office 
Passport Passport Adviceline
Driving Licence DVLNI
Cheque Book & Bank Account Contact your branch/building society 
Insurance Policies The Broker or insurance company

Further information

For information about how to prepare and protect against flood, and what to do if your property has been affected by flooding, see our resource here.

For advice on what to do after your property has been affected by fire, please visit Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for guidance.