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Famous People Perks: Emergency Passport With No Photo ID

Losing a passport overseas is a frightening, frustrating experience. Being famous has its perks, however, as singer John Grant, formerly of the Czars, found out last week.

According to News.com.au, Mr. Grant was all set fly from the UK to Ver0na, Italy for an upcoming show, when he realized he’d lost both his passport and his photo ID. He went straight to the US Embassy in London to get an emergency passport, but of course they won’t give passports to any random person who walks in off the street. You do need some form of identification.

That’s where being a celebrity came in handy for Mr. Grant. He was able to use a photo of himself in the Times newspaper as proof of identity. He recounted the story to News.com.au:

‘I said to the security guards, “I haven’t got any ID, but here I am on the front page of The Times today”. They read it, and I saw the look on their faces change from delight to horror as they realised that they had a drug-addicted pervert standing in front of them. Then one of them said, “It’s good enough for me. I doubt you’ve gone to all the trouble of printing a copy just to fool us”.’

Mr. Grant got his passport, and as he explained to the BBC, “In about a half hour I was on my way back to the airport to catch a later flight to Verona and ended up making our stage time, so it all worked out really well.”

Stateside, of course, it doesn’t matter who you are: if you apply to replace a lost passport, you’ll need both proof of identity (such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID) and proof of citizenship. You’ll also need one passport photo and a completed copy of passport application forms DS-11 and DS-64 (explanation regarding a lost or stolen passport). (more…)

Passport Replacement Services

Whether it’s lost, damaged or expired, the sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you realize your passport needs to be replaced fast has got to be one of the worst sensations in the world.

Getting a new passport is generally a fairly straightforward process, but if you are about to leave the country the extra legwork involved in getting the replacement expedited can seem daunting. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your plane doesn’t leave the airport without you.

Passport Replacement Services for Lost or Damaged Passports

If your passport is lost or has been damaged, you’ll need to apply in person to get it replaced. Bring the following documents with you to the passport office :

Lost Passport? UK Passport Agency Says “Check Your Trash Can”

The UK’s Identity and Passport Service just released the results of a study that looked at replacement passport applications to determine where and how passports are most likely to be lost. Like the US, the UK has citizens applying to replace a lost passport fill out a questionnaire explaining exactly what happened to the missing document.

According to the statistics, one of the most common ways to lose a passport in the UK is to accidentally throw it away, according to a BBC write up of the study. About 10,000 passports a year are taken out with the trash. Bars and clubs are the other major culprits. As you might expect, people in their 20′s seem to be the most prone to these types of accidents: 42.8% of the people who applied to replace a lost passport last year were in that age group.

Meanwhile, the BBC also collected a list of some of the more unusual explanations people gave for their lost passports. Check it out:

  • Taxi attacked by gunman on way to airport in Brazil
  • Fell out of bag while snowboarding
  • Drunk boyfriend (now ex) destroyed it
  • Last seen in pocket of a coat donated to tramp
  • Wallet stolen at children’s party with passport inside
  • Passports stored in safe in Turkish villa, thieves stole safe
  • Put in bin by infant daughter; and
  • Put on a fire with clothes

No matter what happened to your passport, RushMyPassport can help you get it replaced quickly. Normal passport processing takes about 6 weeks, while the Department of State’s expedited service takes about 3 weeks. We hand-deliver your paperwork to the Department of State for processing times as low as 24 hours. Even better, there’s no need to make an appointment or travel to a passport agency.

Lost your passport? Let us help!

Lost Passport Cracks The Case for British Cops

Pro tip: If you’re going to commit a crime of some sort, you might want to leave your passport at home. I’ll bet Dozy Kenneth Morgan, a 48-year-old crook from the UK, wishes he had left his behind. According to The Sun, the newly released ex-con was robbing a house in London when the homeowner returned. He got away through the kitchen window, but fortunately for the homeowner, the rest of the neighborhood and society in general, the police were able to crack the case in literally seconds when a quick search of the home turned up Mr. Morgan’s lost passport.

Not just his passport, either. From the Sun’s report, he also left behind a backpack that “contained his mugshot on a prison ID card, his birth certificate and a tenancy agreement with his signature.” Elementary, my dear Watson!

According to the Sun, the cops investigating the robbery “giggled” like schoolgirls, then promptly found and arrested Mr. Morgan. His excuse went something like this: “Oh no, officers. Someone stole that backpack from me and planted at the scene of the crime.” It didn’t fly in court, and now he’s back in jail.

For a couple of seconds, I almost wanted to believe Mr. Morgan’s story. I mean, he left not just his passport, but also his prison ID card and rental agreement? REALLY? But as it turns out, he’s been robbing houses for around a quarter of a century. Sometimes, people really are that dumb, and the Sun has christened Mr. Morgan “Britain’s Dumbest Burglar.”

Assuming you didn’t lose your passport at the scene of a crime you committed, RushMyPassport.com can help you get it replaced quickly. Regular passport service from the Department of State takes about 6 weeks if everything goes smoothly, while their expedited service costs an additional $60 and still takes 3 weeks.

RushMyPassport, on the other hand, can help if you need your passport more quickly. We hand-deliver your paperwork to the Department of State, resulting in processing times as low as 24 hours with no need to travel to an appointment at a regional passport agency office.

Let us help you get your lost passport replaced today!

Lost Passports and Disasters: What to Do

Last week’s 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, devastated the city. Buildings are in ruins and at least 148 people are confirmed dead. Christchurch is a popular town for tourists, many of whom struggled to get out of the city after the quake.

At a time like this, your first priority is obviously going to be getting out of the situation in one piece, not keeping track of your passport. Often, natural disasters leave victims stranded in the chaos without this all-important piece of identification. So, what would you do if you were in a similar situation? Although New Zealand temporarily waived passport requirements for evacuation flights according to the LA Times, tourists will still need to get them replaced prior to continuing their journey home. There are some steps you can take while planning your trip that will speed the process of getting a lost passport replaced after a disaster.

First, make a copy of your passport’s information page. Making a copy and keeping it separate from your passport itself is a well-known best practice for international travelers. However, you should also leave a copy with friends and relatives who can fax it to you if necessary. Alternately, scan a copy into your computer and then upload it to a secure, password-protected online storage system like SpiderOak or SwissDisk. That way, the information on your passport is accessible to you as long as you have an Internet connection.

After you get to safety and to the nearest US Embassy, having a copy of the information page from your lost passport accessible will make it much easier to get it replaced.

Before you travel, make sure you know where the nearest US Embassy is in case something does happen. It’s also a good idea to register with them.

While nobody likes to think of their carefully planned trip in ending in disaster, and odds are it won’t happen to you, it does pay to remember the Boy Scout motto and be prepared!

Lost Passport Leaves American Begging in Thailand

For Dean Mancuso, an American traveling in Thailand, a lost passport was more than just a temporary inconvenience. It actually left him stranded in Thailand, begging from other Americans in order to support his Thai wife and his two daughters.

How could this happen? Well, for some reason, after he lost his passport, Mancuso didn’t go to the embassy to get a new one. Without any identification, it was impossible for him to go home, to get a job, or to do anything other than beg from other Western tourists visiting Phuket, getting them to loan or give him money based on false pretenses. However, earlier this month, a beachfront resort on the island called the police after he was warned about begging from their customers and persisted in doing so. In an interview, Mancuso described life without his passport to Phuketwan.com:

”I have been so afraid. Because I have my two daughters to take care of. I want to live as a normal person again. All this time, I have been fighting with the devil, and fighting with the good…’I wasn’t trying to be a bad person. I just lost my passport somewhere. Call me a coward, but I just didn’t have the nerve to go to the embassy. I was ashamed.”

The moral of this story? If you lose your passport overseas, you need to replace it immediately. As in, forthwith. To do so, simply go to the nearest US embassy. They deal with lost passports all the time. It’s their job, and they aren’t going to think any less of you. The process will be somewhat quicker and easier if you have a copy of the information page of your passport, but even if you don’t, go to the embassy. They will still find a way to help you.

If you’re still in the US, the process for replacing your lost passport is even easier. See How to Replace a Lost Passport for details. And remember, kids, if you are still in the US, RushMyPassport can help you get that lost passport replaced in as little as 24 hours!

Beware Lost Passport Email Story

An email scam is making the rounds, and this time, the email isn’t coming from a “Nigerian prince.” Instead, it’s a little bit more clever.  The person sending it claims to be someone you know who has lost their passport (and usually the rest of their wallet) overseas. Alternately, they may claim that all of their credit cards have been stolen, and that the hotel they are staying in is holding their passport until they get their money.  Either way, they need you to send them money now, preferably via Western Union. Reporters for both the Lansing Journal and the Chicago Tribune have recently experienced variants of this phishing scam.

Don’t fall for it.  Look, a lost passport overseas can be unpleasant, to say the least, but it’s a situation that can be resolved with a trip to the nearest US Embassy.

If you lose your wallet as well as your passport, the US Embassy can assist you with that, also. From the Department of State’s website, here is a rundown of what they can do for Americans who are stranded overseas:

If destitute, Americans can turn to a U.S. consular officer abroad for help. ACS will help by contacting the destitute person’s family, friends, or business associates to raise private funds. It will help transmit these funds to destitute Americans.

ACS transfers approximately 3 million dollars a year in private emergency funds. It can approve small government loans to destitute Americans abroad until private funds arrive.

ACS also approves repatriation loans to pay for destitute Americans’ direct return to the U.S. Each year over $500,000 is loaned to destitute Americans.

The moral of the story? Don’t send any money overseas based on an email. If you think your friend is really in trouble, request a phone call, or call the US Embassy where they are claiming to be stranded to confirm the story before you start throwing money at them.

Also, if you or someone you care about experiences a lost or stolen passport overseas, don’t reach out to people by email, as you’ll likely be mistaken for a scammer. Instead, contact the nearest US Embassy for help.  Expediting companies like RushMyPassport.com can’t help you if you’re outside the US, but the good news is that the US Embassy can replace a lost passport very quickly.

Of course, if you’re still in the US, we’d be happy to help you replace your lost passport in as little as 24 hours.  Contact us today!

A Lost Passport Can Happen to Anyone- Even a Travel Writer!

Travel writers are professional travelers, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes like the rest of us.  Seth Kugel, the new Frugal Traveler columnist for the New York Times, saw his new gig get off to a rough start due to one of the most common travel mishaps: a lost passport.

He described his ordeal in yesterday’s New York Times:

Yep, last week, as I prepared for my grand debut in the frugal spotlight, I realized my passport had disappeared from my São Paulo apartment. Of course, I looked everywhere – desk drawers, jacket pockets, under cushions, and eventually, methodically, in every square inch of every room, including inside my running shoes and (twice) in the shower. It was gone.

Think, Seth, think. When was the last time you had it? Passing through customs at São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport after a recent sleepless overnight flight … searching desperately for a restroom … putting it down on top of the paper towel dispenser … nooooooo!

Oops! Luckily for Mr. Kugel, someone had actually turned his lost passport in at the airport’s lost and found. Kind of restores your faith in humanity, doesn’t it?

Losing your passport right before a trip can be a blow to your self-esteem, but it shouldn’t be.  If it can happen to the Frugal Traveler, it can happen to anyone.

If you lose your passport overseas as Mr. Kugel did, you will need to apply for a replacement at the nearest American embassy or consulate. If you’re still in the States, you have a few different options for replacing your lost passport, depending on how quickly you need it.

The first option is to apply at a post office or other passport acceptance facility (see How to Replace a Lost Passport for details).  If you choose regular processing, you should have your new passport in your hands in about 6 weeks. If you pay an additional $60 plus overnight delivery fees, you’ll have it in about 3 weeks.

If you need it sooner than that, you have two options: use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport.com, or make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office. Using an expediting company is well worth the extra cost for most people, as there is no need to make an appointment or wait around at the passport office.

Let us help you replace your lost passport quickly and easily, today!

Lost Passport Keeps Lindsay Lohan From Appearing in Court

For most people, a lost passport is simply a major inconvenience. However, for Lindsay Lohan, it could mean 180 days in jail.

The young starlet was due back in court this morning to deal with issues related to her probation. She was also supposed to have completed 13 alcohol education classes. According to the Cleveland Leader, she had only completed 10 when she flew off to France for the Cannes Film Festival.

Now, either Lohan has lost her passport or someone has stolen it. The lost passport was not discovered in time for her to able to get a new one before her flight. The Cleveland Leader quotes her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley:

“I was on the phone with Lindsay’s assistant the entire night and we’re doing everything we can to resolve this issue and get her back to L.A. Lindsay is distraught because it was her intention to get back to L.A. today to do more alcohol education classes today and appear in court tomorrow.”

According to the NileGuidance blog, Lohan has since received a new passport, but since she didn’t make her court date, an arrest warrant has been issued. That ought to make some footage for the tabloids, at least…

If you lose your passport or have your passport stolen while you are overseas, you need to go to the nearest US Embassy ASAP to get an emergency passport issued.

If you end up with a lost passport while you are still in the States, you must apply for a new one in person.  Regular service takes approximately 6 weeks, while the government’s expedited service takes approximately 3 weeks. If you need your lost passport replaced more quickly, you can either make an appointment at a US passport agency office or use a private passport expediting company. An expediting company is generally the easiest and most convenient way to get your passport replaced quickly.

Need to replace a lost passport? Apply today!

Lost Passport Could Derail Foreign Adoption

A Massachusetts woman whose purse was stolen lost more than her wallet-she also lost her passport, complicating her plans to adopt  a little girl from Ethiopia.

According to WBZTV.com , Colleen MacRae was shopping inside a Home Depot store when a man distracted her and then made off with her purse. Inside was her passport.

The lost passport is potentially more than an inconvenience-it also puts her and her husband’s plans to adopt a child in Ethiopia next month in jeopardy.

As Mrs. MacRae explained to WBZTV:

“Anybody who has ever been through the adoption process knows having to change one number on your home study, your application, your dossier, means possibly getting lost. It could mean that some bureaucrat is going to put that wall down on you and prohibit you from adopting all together.”

Since there is so little time for Mrs. MacRae to replace her lost passport, Senator John Kerry’s office has stepped in to try to speed the process up.

Whether you have a lost passport or a stolen passport, the replacement process is the same: First, you must report the lost passport to the Department of State at 1-877-487-2778 between 8 am and 10pm, Monday through Friday.  This invalidates the passport so that no one else can use it.

Then, apply in person for a new passport. You must submit the following documents:

It usually takes 6 weeks to get your new passport back in the mail for regular passport processing and 3 weeks if you use the government’s expedited processing.

However, if you need your passport sooner, you can either make an appointment at a Regional Passport Agency office, or use a private passport expediting service. The latter option is quicker and easier-considering the cost of taking off work and getting to a passport office if there isn’t one nearby, the extra expense is usually worth it and you may even save money in the long run.

Replace your lost passport today!