These days, identity theft is a serious concern. Robbers are just as likely to steal your personal information and documents as they are to go for actual money and valuables. Of course, if your passport gets stolen, you should report it immediately-but what if the thief only gets your passport number, or a copy of your passport? In that case, they would have your passport number, but you would still have the physical passport in your possession.
According to the representative I spoke to at the National Passport Help Desk, you should be fine as long you still have your passport in your possession. There isn’t anything that can really be done with just a passport number-you need to have the actual document to do any damage.
If your passport is lost or stolen, here’s how to go about getting a new one:
- Report your passport lost or stolen by calling 1-877-487-2778.
- Apply in person for a new passport. You’ll need to fill out both a passport application and Form DS-64.
- Provide 2 new passport photos.
- Bring proof of ID and proof of citizenship
- Pay the $110 application fee along with the $35 execution fee (if you’re over 16, along with an additional $60 fee if you need your application expedited.
And, of course, you can’t travel until you have your new passport in hand-if you try to travel with a passport that you’ve reported lost or stolen, you could be detained-not fun! If you apply for a replacement passport with normal processing, it will take at least 6 weeks for your application to be processed.
If you apply with the government’s expedited processing, it will still take at least 3 weeks. If you need your passport in a hurry, the easiest way to get it is to go through a private passport expediting company. An expediting company can make getting a replacement passport much quicker and easier. In fact, your application could be processed in as little as 24 hours!