Losing something while travelling is never fun. Whether it’s your wallet or your phone, it’s easy for the panic to escalate, especially when you’re in a foreign country.
In France, you’re most likely to misplace or have your possessions stolen in Paris, due to its high tourist population. But if this happens to you, there are steps you can take in order to retrieve your things and head home with some peace of mind.
Losing a possession in France
If you’ve misplaced one of your possessions in France, there are several ways you can retrieve it.
If you remember where you lost your item, first contact the relevant authorities in that particular place or surrounding area, i.e. local police, museum, hotel, etc. You can find the number of the local police prefectures here.
Losing something on public transportation in Paris
If you lost something in a train or RER station, contact the station directly. Here are the phone numbers for each station:
Gare de Lyon: +33 01 53 33 67 22
Gare Montparnasse: +33 01 40 48 14 24
Gare Saint-Lazare: +33 01 53 42 01 44
Gare de l’Est: +33 01 53 31 58 40
Gare d’Austerlitz: +33 01 53 60 71 98
Gare du Nord: +33 01 55 31 58 40
If you lost something on the metro and know where you lost it, ask the ticket desk at that station or the station close by. You can also call RATP at +33 892 69 32 46, or just 32 46 if you’re within France (calls will cost €0,34 /min).
If it has been more than 24 hours, it has likely already been collected by the Lost and Found Office in Paris.
If you lost something in a taxi, call the taxi service you used for more information and give them the drivers’ licence plate if you have it. Again, if the taxi company doesn’t have your item when you call, it likely has already been collected by the Lost and Found Office in Paris.
Losing something at the airport
If you lost something on Le Bus Direct (the shuttle between Paris city-centre and Paris airports), call the bus company directly at +33 1 64 02 50 14, or 0 810 812 001 if you’re within France (note that the call will cost 0,12 €/min). You can also contact them on their website.
If you’ve lost something at the airport, fill out this form (in French) to report your loss. You can also contact the lost and found office in person at Aéroport Charles de Gaulle. You can find it in Terminal 2, on Level 3.
More information can be found on the CDG website.
After 15 days, the item will be sent to the Lost and Found Office in Paris.
Reporting a lost or stolen credit card in France
Before searching for your lost or stolen credit card, call your bank and cancel your card as soon as possible. If you have a French bank card, you can also call the national reporting centre at +33 08 92 70 57 05 (0.34 €/min). They’ll give you a registration number (numéro d’enregistrement) that you will need later to confirm the cancellation of your card.
Here are some emergency numbers for common credit card companies:
Visa: 08 00 90 11 79
Mastercard: 08 00 90 13 87
American Express: 01 47 77 70 00
You can then report the theft to the police station in the area where you lost your card. They’ll file a report (récépissé de déclaration de vol, or Declaration of Theft) that you can then send to your bank and insurance company.
Send it to your bank by registered mail. Once the bank receives your report, you cannot reactivate your account and will need to start a new one.
Reporting a lost phone in France
Was your phone lost in Paris, or somewhere else in France? Do you know your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number? It’s a 15-digit number that identifies your phone and can be used to terminate your service in case of loss or theft. Sometimes your phone can be traced through this number, too.
To access your IMEI, punch in *#06# on your keypad. You can also find it by going to Settings on your phone.
If your phone is lost, report it to the police and give them your IMEI number, as well as the time and place the phone was last used. The same protocol applies if you had your phone stolen in Paris.
You can suspend your French number by calling your French phone provider. Here are the numbers of some of the most common French phone companies:
Orange: +33 09 69 36 39 00 (English)
SFR: +33 06 10 00 19 63
Free: +33 01 78 56 95 60
Bouygues: +33 08 00 29 10 00
Reporting a lost passport in France
If you've lost your passport in France, tell the local police. They will write up a report and you will receive a receipt of the reported loss.
You can then report it to your country’s embassy in France, and they can issue you a temporary or full replacement. You will need to bring in a piece of ID, the police report, and other identifying information to obtain it.
Reporting a lost drivers’ licence or other ID in France
Report the loss to the local police. Once reported, they’ll give you a receipt which can be used as a temporary licence while you’re in France.
Lost and Found Office in Paris
There is a general Lost and Found Office in Paris that accumulates any items left behind in areas such as the major airports (CDG, Orly), train stations, taxis, the metro system, police stations and tourist attractions, among others.
You can report your lost item using their online system (in French) and they will contact you if they have identified your item.
If you’d prefer to visit them in person, their address is:
Préfecture de police
Direction des transports et de la protection du public
Sous direction des déplacements et de l’espace public
Service des objets trouvés
36, rue des Morillons
75732 Paris Cedex 15
They are open Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
You can also call them at +33 08 21 00 25 25 (0,12 €/min), or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lost and Found...on Facebook If you’ve exhausted all options, try reaching out to this Facebook group and file a missing items report. The group will post your report on their page in an effort to broaden the search for your item.
Retrieving items from the Lost and Found Office
You will need to provide your ID and pay 10€ to retrieve your item. This is a “caretaker fee” (droit de garde) for keeping your item at the office. You may also need to supply a police report regarding the item lost.
If your item is valued at over 760€, you will also be charged a 3% fee on top of the caretaker fee.