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

Old rotary telephoneIf 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

mailboxes in a post officeEven 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.

See Passport Replacement Services for a list of the documents you’ll need to bring with you.

Step 4: Hurry Up and Wait

passport on top of documentsThe time it takes to replace a lost passport depends on how many applications the State Department has received of late. However, six weeks is standard.

The State Department also has an expedited option available for an additional $60. This will reduce your wait time to three weeks.

If you’ve lost your passport and you’re about to leave the country, obviously that won’t do. In that case, you can make an appointment at one of the 24 regional passport agencies, or you can use a private expediting company like RushMyPassport.

Using an Expediting Company

Since Passport agencies are by appointment only and located in just 24 cities across the country, using an expediting company has several advantages:

  • Fast service: Expediters personally deliver your paperwork to the State Department for processing in as little as 24 hours! 
  • No need to make an appointment or wait in line at a passport agency- just visit your local post office with the required documents to have your application package “sealed,” then send them to the expediting company.
  • No  need to take time off work and travel to a passport agency if you don’t have one nearby.
  • Hands-on guidance from a passport professional.

If you need to replace your lost passport quickly and you don’t have the time or patience to deal with a lot of red tape, we can help. Order online today!

Photo Credits:  Some rights reserved by timlewisnm,  Some rights reserved by plenty.r., Some rights reserved by robertstinnett, Some rights reserved by seantoyer