Traveling to a foreign country should be a wonderful experience, but if your passport is lost or stolen while you are abroad, it will be anything but fun. Not only does it create concerns about identity theft, but without your passport you won’t be able to leave a foreign country to return home.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to plan ahead. Before your trip, scan the information page of your passport and print a copy to take along on your travels. Keep this backup copy in a different location than your passport – somewhere secure, but do not carry it with your passport, identification and credit cards. This backup copy will help expedite your replacement passport process.
So what should you do if this happens to you?
- Stay calm and try not to worry.
- Take immediate steps to report the theft to local law enforcement and to secure a replacement passport.
- Start with the local U.S. Embassy.
Speak with the American Citizens Services unit of the Consulate. (Make sure to notify them if your scheduled departure date is soon approaching.) They can tell you where to get new passport photos and help you get a replacement passport quickly. You will need to fill out a new passport application and provide proof of your identity. This can be a little more complicated if the thief also steals your driver’s license and credit cards.
In order to replace your passport when traveling abroad, you will need the following items:
- A Passport Photo (one photo is required)
- Identification and evidence of U.S. citizenship
- Travel Itinerary (airline/train tickets)
- Police Report, if available
- DS-11 Application for Passport (may be completed in-person)
- DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport (may be completed in-person)
U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign countries close for weekends and holidays, so you will not be able to get a replacement passport at that time. Emergency duty officers are available for after-hours emergencies. Their job is to handle life or death emergencies, so chances are you may have to wait for normal business hours to get help with a replacement passport.
Replacement passports are usually issued on an emergency basis, which means a limited/temporary passport will be issue by the consulate. This passport will only be valid for a period of one year (not the usual 10 years).
Once you return to the United States using your emergency passport, contact RushMyPassport to help you to extend your passport for the full 10-year period.