Replacing a Lost Passport the Hassle-Free Way
A lost passport can spell trouble abroad. That is why it is so important to make copies of all your important documents before you leave for a trip. Having a file on hand that contains images of these items can help expedite the process. This is especially helpful if you have misplaced all of your identification and have no other way of establishing identity.
Knowing who to contact in the case of an emergency overseas is helpful. Without a passport, it is often impossible to leave one country and go to another. Stricter laws have been passed that prohibit individuals without the proper ID from flying. Replacing a lost passport is always easier when you are home and can visit the proper authorities in person.
Report Your Loss to the Nearest Embassy or Consulate
If you are in a foreign land, you must report your lost to the nearest embassy or consulate catering to your country. They will walk you through the steps necessary to apply for a new passport.
You can save yourself the headache by visiting the Embassy or Consulate’s website and printing out the instructions needed to obtain a replacement passport. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations as to how it deals with a lost passport. The information listed here deals strictly with those residents living in the United States and is therefore irrelevant to those living in other countries.
Contact the State Department to Invalidate Your Passport
If you live in the United States, you can call the State Department and have your passport invalidated. The phone number to reach them at is 1-877-487-2778. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 10 PM Eastern Standard Time.
If you do not plan on replacing the passport, you can submit application DS-64 to:
US Dept. of State
Consular Lost or Stolen Passport Section
1111 19th Street NW Suite 500
Washington DC, 20036
Filling out this form alone will not get you a replacement passport. You will be required to submit a second form along with an additional fee. Sending DS-64 to Consulate alerts them to the fact that your passport is missing.
Produce the Proper Documentation to Apply For a New Passport
If time permits, you can apply in person for a new passport. You will need the following documents to establish identity. They are:
- A Valid Driver’s License or State Issued State ID Card
- Two Passport Suitable Photographs
- Social Security Card
- Application Fee
You will have to pay extra if you want the passport to be expedited. This is on top of the fees required to file the application. Keep in mind that certain forms of payment are not accepted. It is advised to read the office’s policy before writing out a personal check to see if it will be accepted.
Make an Appointment with the Regional Passport Agency
You will need to fill out and submit two forms. The first is the DS-11 Application for Passport. The second is Form DS-64 Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport. Each form will have its own list of criteria that needs to be followed. Read over each form carefully before filling it out. If you have any questions, quietly take a number and wait to be called on. Meeting with a person to discuss your applications can save you the hassle of incorrectly filling them out.
Your local post office is also equipped to deal with these types of requests. Make sure to arrive during working hours and to speak to clerk regarding your lost passport. Bring along the identification listed above, the proper fee, and fill out the two forms listed above. If you need your passport in a hurry, you will have to pay an added fee. This will make your application a priority.
Keep Your Passport Protected At All Times
If you’ve read our how long does it take to get a passport article, you already know that a passport is not an easy thing to replace. With this being said, it is very important to keep it in a safe location at all times. Purchase a money pouch or belt and place this document underneath your clothes. One of the most common ways people lose their passport is to a pickpocket, so I’d recommend reading our guide detailing how to avoid one. Be careful not to get it wet and do not try to alter it in any way. Getting through airport security will be a nightmare if they believe your passport is invalid.
Although losing your passport is the last thing you want to do before a big trip, there are options available for obtaining a new one quickly. Paying for rush delivery helps ensure that the document arrives in time before you leave. That means that you won’t have to miss out on all the fun just because you put your passport in a place that you forgot about.