Last updated on Jun 15, 2022

A Passport is an official document issued by the government that allows you to travel(( Section 3, Passports Act, 1967[)) internationally, and serves as a proof of identification.(( Section 3, Passports Act, 1967)) The Ministry of External Affairs issues Passports through the Central Passport Organisation (CPO) and you will be able to apply for a passport by approaching Passport Offices, Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) and Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSK) in India.

There are three kinds of Passports: ordinary, official and diplomatic.(( Section 4(1), Passports Act, 1967)) In this section, only ordinary Passports will be covered, for which only Indian nationals are eligible. Please note that you can hold only one Passport at a time.(( Rule 13, Passports Rules, 1980))

Please note that a Passport will be valid for a period of 10 years,(( Rule 12(1A), Passports Rules, 1980)). India-Bangladesh Passports which were valid for 3 years have been discontinued in 2013. (( Rule 12(2), Passports Rules, 1980))

Precautions to be taken in Relation to a Passport:(( Schedule V (Conditions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), Passports Rules, 1980))

  • You must not send a Passport out of any country by post.
  • You should not let anyone who is not authorized to use the Passport possess it.
  • You are personally responsible for its safety, so if it is damaged or lost, you must immediately report it to the nearest Passport authority, or the nearest Indian Mission or Post and to the local police, if you are abroad.
  • You must not alter your Passport in any way, without authorization of the relevant official(s).
  • If your children’s particulars are included in your Passport, they must not travel alone.
  • A child, whose particulars are included in his guardian’s Passport, must apply for a separate one on turning 15 years of age.

If you violate these provisions, you can be punished with jail time between  3 months and 2 years and/or a fine between Rs. 500 and Rs. 5,000, on the first offence, and with double the penalty on subsequent  offence.(( Section 12, Passports Act, 1967)) For example, if you allow someone to use your passport, the first you will be jailed for 2 years and/or fined Rs. 5,000, and if you do it again, you will be jailed for 4 years and/or be fined Rs. 10,000.

Penalties in Relation to a Passport 

If you do any of the following, you can be punished with jail time between 1 and 5 years and a fine between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 50,000(( Section 12(1), Passports Act, 1967)):

  • You travel internationally without  a valid Passport or travel documents
  • You provide false information and do not disclose information, in order to get a Passport
  • You do not provide your Passport for inspection to relevant authorities (i.e. any Passport authority, any police officer above and equal to the rank of Sub-Inspector, and any officer empowered by the Central Government in relation to this)
  • You use a Passport or travel documents that belongs to another person
  • You allow another person to use your Passport or travel documents
  • You aid or help anyone in doing the points given above.

Please read here for surrender of Passport, and here for revocation and impounding of Passport.

You can get a new Passport or get it reissued and updated. There is also a facility for a Tatkal Passport. If you require any additional help and support, please see here.

Read this government resource to know more.

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