Need Help with a Lost Passport?
If you are a regular traveler, a lost passport is a nightmare that can turn your travel plans into a mess. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, the loss of a passport can be stressful, especially if you’re in a foreign country. As a result, it’s important to know what to do in the event of a lost passport.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what to do if your passport goes missing, the measures to take during the process of obtaining a new one, and some tips on how to prevent losing your passport.
Reporting a Lost or Stolen Passport
Losing your passport while on vacation may feel like ruining a good thing, but it’s important to remain calm. The first step in this scenario is to report your passport as lost or stolen. Report the loss of your passport to the nearest US embassy or consulate as soon as possible, regardless of where you are.
You can report the lost passport to the nearest embassy or consulate by phone, in person, or online. The embassy or consulate will require you to provide some information about yourself, such as your full name and passport number, as well as the date and place where you last saw the passport.
It is important to note that if someone finds your passport, you can no longer use it for travel, no matter if it was reported lost or stolen. Therefore, always keep your passport safe.
Applying for a New Passport
After reporting the loss of your passport to the nearest embassy or consulate, the next step is to apply for a new passport.
The first thing you should do to obtain a new passport is to fill out and sign Form DS-11, the application for a U.S. passport. You can fill out the form online or get a hard copy from a passport acceptance facility. The form will require you to provide personal information, such as your name, date of birth, and social security number.
You’ll also need to provide documentation as proof of citizenship and identity. This can include a previously issued U.S. passport, a birth certificate, or a certificate of naturalization. You will need to bring this documentation with you when you go to the passport acceptance facility, as well as a passport photo.
You’ll also need to pay a fee when you submit your passport application. The fee for a new U.S. passport currently ranges between $110 and $170, depending on the type of passport and how quickly you need it.
It’s important to note that if you need a new passport quickly because of upcoming travel plans, you may be eligible for expedited processing. The Department of State provides expedited services for an additional fee, which can range between $60 and $100 depending on how quickly you need your passport.
Preventing a Lost Passport
The best way to handle a lost passport is to avoid losing it in the first place. There are several steps you can take to prevent the loss of your passport while traveling.
Make a photocopy of your passport: Before leaving on your trip, make two photocopies of your passport. Take one copy with you, and leave the other with a reliable friend or family member in case your passport is lost or stolen.
Use a passport holder: A passport holder is a cover that protects your passport from wear and tear while in your luggage or bag. The holder can also help you keep track of your passport by having a unique design that makes it quickly identifiable.
Store your passport in a safe place: When you’re out and about, always keep your passport in a secure location, such as a hidden pocket or a locked safe. Don’t leave your passport unattended in a hotel room or car.
Sign and secure your passport: Always sign your passport, and make sure it is not damaged or altered in any way. A damaged or altered passport is considered invalid and will not be accepted.
Choose a safe travel bag: When traveling, be sure to use a secure bag that you can carry with you at all times. Avoid using a backpack or shoulder bag that can easily be snatched away.
Losing a passport is a stressful and frustrating experience. However, by knowing what to do in the event of a lost passport, you can reduce the impact of this experience. By reporting a lost or stolen passport to the nearest embassy or consulate and applying for a new passport through the U.S. Department of State, you can regain the ability to travel and take control of your situation.
Remember, the best way to handle a lost passport is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By taking steps such as making a photocopy of your passport, using a passport holder, storing your passport in a safe place, and choosing a safe travel bag, you can keep your passport secure and reduce the risk of losing it while traveling.
A lost passport can prove to be a very frustrating situation, particularly the passport is lost while traveling in foreign countries. Furthermore, a lost passport can be conducive to more serious matters, such as the possibility of identity theft. However, a lost passport is a situation that can be dealt with, though it may take sometime to accomplish obtaining a new one.
A lost passport while in the United States will not be as a dire situation as one that is lost abroad. However, the process to obtained a passport can take a considerable amount of time, which can play a factor if one plans on leaving the country. Firstly, lost passport is to be reported to the Department of State in order to notify the proper authorities of the situation.
This should be done over the phone first, as to at least report the lost passport so that it can be rendered invalid or canceled. This allows for the security measure of not allowing anyone from using the lost passport illegally or to steal one’s identity. However, the phone call may not be enough to secure a new passport, and will require submitting a DS-64 form as well. It is important to note that once a lost passport is reported, the procedure cannot be reversed, which will cancel the passport, even if it is found eventually.
While traveling overseas, a lost passport is a much more serious situation, for one will not be able to leave the country until the passport is found or a new one is obtained. Contacting the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate is necessary to report a lost passport, and more importantly, begin the process to obtain a new one. A short term passport may be granted to travel back to the United States, though one will have to obtain a new passport once home.
What is a Lost Passport?
A passport is a legal document issued by the Federal Government, which enables an individual to travel abroad. Without the acquisition of a passport, an individual is legally not entitled to enter or leave a given country.
If an individual – through carelessness, accident, or robbery – has lost their passport, they must replace it before travelling.
It is they encouraged to immediately report the lost passport to the United States Department of Consular Affairs.
Passports, due to the increased amount of fraud and the dangers associated with entering a foreign country, have become highly regulated documents in regards to the application process, the renewal process, and the filing for a new passport.
What to do if you lost your Passport
If you have lost your passport, you must not onlyreport the lost document, but you also must embark on the retrieval process in accordance with the guidelines expressed by the Federal Government’s Depart of Consular Affairs:
The following forms must be filed to initiate the retrieval process for a lost or stolen passport.
Form DS-64: The Form DS-64 is the official document that expresses a statement regarding a stolen or lost passport. The filing of this form is not analogous to an application for a replacement passport; an individual must apply for replacement passport in person – in addition, the applicable fees must be satisfied.
If an individual recovers a lost passport, they are required to deliver it to the following address; upon receipt of the passport, it will be destroyed – once a passport is reported as lost, it will not be reactivated:
U.S. Department of State
Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Replacing a Lost Passport
To replace a loss passport, the same measures must be taken as if the individual applicant were applying for a new passport. This process includes the submission of all applicable documentation and fees. The applicant must submit the following documentation to their local passport offices (government buildings, including post offices, municipal buildings or court houses:
A valid birth certificate or a government-issued identification – both must be original copies
A valid social security number
A photograph that meets the requirements expressed by the Passport Office. The photograph must be in color, 2 inches by 2 inches in measurement, and taken within 6 months prior the application.
The individual must satisfy the $75 service fee, as well as an additional processing fee of $25.
If the individual would like to receive their passport in an expedited process (2-3 weeks) theapplicant must pay additional $60 surcharge.
Legal Assistance associated with Lost Passports
If an individual faces confusion or difficulty with the obtainment of a new passport or the reporting process of a lost passport it may be beneficial to contact an immigration attorney. These legal professionals can be instrumental throughout the application and approval process with regard to a Lost Passport.
The following forms will be needed if an applicant wishes to include a legal professional in the retrieval or reporting process of their lost passport.
Form G-28: The Notice of Appearance for the Attorney or Representative presents the expressed permission on the part of the non-citizen for the presence of a hired attorney or approved representative with regard to the reporting and replacement of aLost Passport
Form FC-029: This Certification of Photocopiesallows for the approved submission of official documents in the form of photocopies with regard to the reporting and replacement of a Lost Passport; these documents are considered to be valid and acceptable in lieu of the original documentation. However, photocopies of official, government documents are neither accepted nor recognized without the completion and processing of this form