Lost Passport

Stolen or Lost Passport? Here’s What To Do Next

Picture this: you are getting for an exciting international trip, confirming your final details, and checking your packing list one last time. You finally make it to the airport, but as you board your flight, you realize with horror that your passport is nowhere to be found. Panic sets in as you realize you lost your passport or, worse, it was stolen. Don’t worry – this situation isn’t completely hopeless.

As stressful as it may be, there are steps you can take to retrieve or replace your passport and get back on track with your travel plans. Here are the steps to get back to your travels.

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Remain Calm

Okay, so you’ve lost your passport. Take a deep breath and relax; it happens to the best of us. Panicking won’t make it magically reappear. In fact, it may even make the situation worse. So, keep calm and carry on. You got this! [3][4]

Try to calmly think about where you had it last. Note the date it was last used, just in case it was left behind. It may still be there if you left it behind at a hotel or attraction. Security officers with many organizations will log things such as passports when found. A few minutes of calm may help to remember lost details. If it is still lost, read on to learn how to report and replace a lost passport.

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Contact The Embassy

The first thing you need to do, and we mean ASAP, is report your missing passport to the State Department. We suggest contacting the embassy right away – no dilly-dallying, as a missing passport, is a serious concern. A passport replacement can’t be issued until the old one is invalidated, so time is of the essence. Plus, you know, you kind of need your passport in case you want to travel, so you need to apply asap. [5][6]

Inside the US, you can apply for a new one in person by filling out Form DS-11. If you are outside the country, you’ll need to contact the nearest US Embassy. Additionally. you will need to complete and sign Form DS-64, to validate the theft or loss; you know how they are about paperwork. [7][8]

Remember, after you contact the Embassy, your misplaced U.S. passport will be invalidated. Even if you find it later, it will not work for entry into the country as it will be void.

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What You Need To Tell Them

When your passport is reported as lost or stolen, keep in mind that it doesn’t automatically replace your passport. You have to fill out the DS-11 form and apply for a new one. Be prepared to pay the fees and wait for processing time.

If you find someone else’s passport, don’t use it to book your dream vacation. Karma has a funny way of catching up with you. Instead, turn it into the Consular Lost and Stolen Passport Unit or the nearest embassy.

While it may be tempting to use just the passport number for travel, that’s not how it works. You need a physical passport book or a passport card to be able to travel to and enter a foreign country and return to the United States. Plus, if you reported it lost or stolen, it’s no longer valid and can’t be used anyway.

The total time it takes to get a new passport can take 7-9 weeks or longer, depending on processing times and mailing times. Keep that in mind if you have travel plans coming up. And remember, always keep your passport in a safe place to avoid the stress of a lost or stolen passport. [9][10]

Report Your Passport Lost or Stolen

Report to the police or local authorities immediately. Someone could be using your identity to travel the world right now. Plus, you don’t want to deal with any legal issues in case your misplaced passport is used for nefarious purposes. Just make sure you bring all your identifying documents with you.

Also, make sure to get an official copy of the police report in case it is needed later; better not to need it. If you have travel insurance, you may need a police report to file for any loss as a result. [13][14]

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Online Report

You just realized your passport is missing, huh? Don’t panic, but you better act fast! The best way to report it lost or stolen is through the State Department’s website. You’ll also have the option to apply for a new one right away. Fill in the blanks, cross your fingers, and let ’em know if you want a new passport. [15][16]

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Source: travel.state.gov

Replace a Lost or Stolen Passport

As much as you try to stay organized during your travels, sometimes things happen. It’s important not to panic and keep your cool if you lose your passport. The first thing you need to do is to get an emergency replacement. Lucky for you, there are agencies that can help you with that. You also may be eligible for a special circumstance appointment or fee waiver; make sure to share your circumstance and ask for assistance if appropriate.

Don’t worry about the complicated process; their checklist will guide you every step of the way. Plus, you can get it done in as fast as 24 hours. But give yourself time to apply and apply for a replacement immediately and get home. [17][18]

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Where To Apply

Where to apply for a passport depends if you are located inside or outside of the US. Inside the US, head over to a passport agency or center to get a replacement in person. Internationally, the embassy or consulate in your current country can assist you. Just make sure to act fast so you can get back to your travels as soon as possible. A good tip is to call for an appointment before you head to the embassy for quicker service. [19][20]

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What You Need To Bring

Before you head to the passport agency, ensure you have all the necessary documents. Bring a completed application form, proof of citizenship, a valid photo ID, and a passport photo taken within the last six months.  that You will have to postpone and return if you don’t have all that is needed. [21][22]

Obtain Replacement Passport

If you’re still in the US, you’ll need to fill out Form DS-11 and apply for a new passport in person. You’ll also need to provide proof of identity and US citizenship. If you’re outside of the US, you’ll need to call the nearest US embassy or consulate to request a replacement passport. Don’t worry, the process is straightforward, and embassy and consulate staff are there to assist you. Just make sure to bring all the required documentation along with you.

In the end, obtaining a replacement passport is relatively straightforward. Yes, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s not the end of the world. So take a deep breath, follow the necessary steps to report a lost or stolen passport, and obtain a replacement passport as soon as possible. Before you know it, you’ll have a new passport and be ready to explore the world again. Good luck! [23][24]

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Final Thoughts

So you’ve lost your passport? Don’t panic; it happens to the best of us. The first thing you need to do is report it immediately. This can be done by phone, mail, or online through the State Department’s website. Once reported, your passport is immediately canceled, so don’t bother using it even if you happen to find it later.

While losing your passport may be stressful, it’s important to remember that it can be replaced. The process may take some time, particularly if you are outside the United States, but with a bit of patience and effort, you’ll be back to traveling in no time. Just try not to lose it again! [25][26]

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