Losing a passport is one of the worst incidents that can occur while a person is traveling. It can prevent the person from getting home or getting to the final destination. It can also give someone else an opportunity for identity theft. A traveler must take action the moment that he or she realizes that the passport is missing. Acting right away will safeguard the traveler against malicious acts and put a new passport in the person’s hands as quickly as possible.
Call the Passport Office Immediately
The first step is contacting the Department of State immediately upon discovering that the document is missing. The office is usually closed on holidays and weekends. If the office is closed, then the individual will have to complete a form DS-64 and then mail the form in to the office. The individual may have to visit the office in person when it is open to request a new passport. The Department of State will cancel the lost or stolen passport as soon as the person reports it to the office. They will take this measure to prevent identity theft. Once the passport is canceled, the individual cannot use it even if he or she finds it at a later date.
Ordering a New Passport
The person will have to order a new passport after he or she reports that the other one has been lost or stolen. The person must complete a new passport application on form DS-11. The individual will also have to pay any fees that the department charges for the new passport. The process of acquiring a replacement passport is much like the process of acquiring an original passport. The applicant can pay an additional fee for an expedited passport if the missing passport will prevent him or her from returning home. The department may issue the emergency passport the same day if the traveler needs to get back to his or her home country.
Lost Passport While in Another Country
If the individual is in another country when the passport disappears, then that person will have to visit a U.S. Consulate or Embassy and apply for the new passport there. An agent will help the citizen to cancel the first passport and then apply for the new passport. Agencies often work quickly to resolve traveling problems for U.S. citizens who are distressed.