There’s almost nothing worse than losing your passport the day before you are supposed to leave on an international trip-except, perhaps, losing it while you are far from home in another country. What should you do if this happens to you? The following process will help you get your lost passport replaced ASAP.
Step 1: Calm Down
Losing a passport in another country can send you in panic mode faster than almost anything else. Panic accomplishes nothing, so the first step is simply to take a few deep breaths and calm down.
Step 2: Contact the Nearest US Embassy or Consulate
In order to report your passport lost or stolen while you are overseas, you must contact the nearest US embassy or consulate. They will be able to cancel your old passport and assist you in getting a new one.
Don’t have the address or phone number? This site has a list of all of the US embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions in the world, sorted by country for your convenience.
Step 3: Visit the Embassy or Consulate to Have Your Passport Replaced
The next step is to go to the embassy or consulate and apply for a replacement passport. The process will be quicker and easier if you have remembered to bring the following items with you on your trip:
- A copy of the identification page of your passport (the page with all of your personal info)
- A copy of your birth certificate or other proof of citizenship
- Photo ID
- 2 passport photos
That said, if you don’t have all of those documents with you, don’t despair-just call the embassy and they will help you figure it out. That’s what they are there for.
If you lose your passport while you are in the United States, the process for a replacing a lost passport is a little bit easier. You will need to apply in person at an acceptance facility (often a post office), and you should expect to wait at least 6 weeks for regular service and 3 weeks for the government’s expedited service.
If you are in the US and need your lost passport replaced more quickly, you can either make an appointment at the nearest Regional Passport Agency Office or use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. An expediting company is the quickest, most convenient way to go.