A lost passport is always a hassle, especially if you are planning to leave the country any time in the near future. Don’t panic…follow this 4-step action plan and you’ll be good to go:
Step 1: Look One More Time
How many times have you called the bank to report a missing credit card, only to find it the very next day? Much like a credit card, you can’t re-activate a passport once you report it lost or stolen. So before you make that phone call, look for it once more, slowly and methodically. See Finding a Lost Passport for some helpful advice.
Step 2: Report It Missing
If you still can’t find your passport, go ahead and call the National Passport Center at 1-877-487-2778 weekdays between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm to report it missing. This will invalidate the passport so that it can no longer be used to travel in or out of the country.
Step 3: Get Thee to a Post Office
Even if you don’t have immediate travel plans, you should replace your lost passport as soon as possible. To do so, you’ll need to appear in person at a post office or another facility that accepts passport applications on behalf of the State Department. If you’re using an expediting company to speed up the application process, you’ll go to the post office with all your paperwork, get it “sealed” by an agent there, and then forward it on to the expediter.
Pro Tip: In addition to the post office, you may also be able to turn your application at a local library or county court clerk.