Last Updated on February 8, 2019
Let’s face it! Life is quite unpredictable and sometimes no matter how hard we try to make our long awaited trip perfect and enjoyable, we just fail!
And that’s simply because bad things may always occur even if you try your best to prevent or avoid them! However, what we want you to know is that you are definitely not the only one! Most travelers have been there at least once in their lives!
While these undesirable accidents may vary from lost baggage to missed flights, the most horrible one is prepping your flight tickets and other travel docs for the upcoming flight, only to realize that your passport is lost and nowhere to be found!
The U.S Department of state reported that each and every year more than 300,000 American passports are getting lost or stolen. That’s scary, right? Well, while this is not something that someone would want to go through, it is also something that you just can’t avoid! When it happens, it just happens!
However, what matters here is what you should do when you find out that your passport is lost or stolen. While it’s hard to keep your calm in such a situation, it is still important that you follow these simple instructions whether you are in the United state or abroad!
If you are in the United States
You should call a passport agency :
This is a very important step and the first thing you should ever do to fix the lost passport issue. It’s okay to panic and freak out but remember the sooner you react, the higher are your chances to fix the issue in a short period of time.
So, take your time to freak out but don’t dwell on the feelings! Instead, try to immediately call a local passport agency and try to make an appointment and see what procedures you should take.
According to an agent working in a passport agency, the earlier is the appointment, the better. Hence, avoid wasting time and act as soon as you find out that your passport is not in your bag!
You can pay for an expedited passport service :
There are many things you can do to fix the issue as long as you keep your calm and think properly. For instance, you can pay a certain fee and get RushMyPassport.com touts in less than 24 hours. This means you will get it in one business day!
While this is a good idea, unfortunately not everyone can afford $399 for a passport! You can also pay $119 for standard services but in this case, you will only get the passport in 8 or even 10 business days.
There are many other passport agencies that can offer you an emergency passport for about $240. One good example is CIBTvisas. Still, keep in mind that this might take a few days but when you have no other option, this step remains a good and useful one!
Gather all the Important docs ASAP :
Whether you choose to seek a local passport agency or any other private service, you will be required to provide some documents. Hence, you should be quick and try to provide the documents as soon as possible!
Normally, you will be required to provide the following, namely: a passport photo that was taken within the last six months, proof of citizenship, a birth certificate, and expired passport, or simply a photo of your lost passport if you have any.
It all depends on what papers you can afford! Also, they will ask you for your driving license, a DS-64, which is a statement about your stolen or lost passport, proof of your flight, and finally a DS-11, which is the passport application.
Once, you prepare all these documents, print them and give them to the agency. Make sure, you make some extra copies and keep them with you just in case.
Seek the closest passport agency and just beg :
This is definitely not an official recommendation from the U.S State Departement, but sometimes we have no other choice but to do this and guess what it works, said the other travelers who’ve been through this before!
Instead of waiting for an appointment, you can try your luck and just go to the agency and beg them for help. You can never know! Your begging might be welcomed!
If you decide to do this, make sure you take all the documents needed, pay the required fee and see how lucky you can be! Other travelers said it worked and they were able to get their passport in less than 12 hours!
If you are out of the United States
Always check your bag one more time and if you can’t find it- Then get in touch!
Traveling can be quite stressful and sometimes you just fail to find your passport even if it’s right in front of your eyes! Hence, it’s important that you check your bag one more time, dump things out, and make sure it’s not there.
The reason why you should do this is that once you report that your passport is lost or stolen, it will be invalid and you will no longer use it to travel. Hence, there is no harm in checking twice.
Once you are sure, the first thing you should ever do is contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate so as to report your lost or stolen blue little book. This can be done anytime and during all the days of the week through a phone call, email or even mail.
According to the managing director of the U.S. State Departement’s Overseas Citizen Services, American travelers who experience this issue can feel free to contact any U.S. embassy or consulate even during weekends and holidays. There are after-duty officers that would be happy to help you in case of emergencies like this one!
Bring All The Same Documentation
Whether you have lost your passport while traveling inside or outside the United States, it is important to provide all the same documentation that was mentioned before.
You can add a police report, but this one is not mandatory, but still, it’s useful and can help you confirm the circumstances of loss or theft. However, if providing this police report will only take much of your time and delay your travel, you’d better skip it!
A good rule to keep in mind is to always carry a copy of your passport information when you travel. This way, if something like this happens, the copy might come in handy. Unfortunately, you can’t travel back home with a copy of your passport and you will have to replace it with a new one before you fly back home.
Expect to pay around $110 or even more!
Travelers holding an American passport and who have lost their passport while traveling overseas should expect to pay around $110 to replace it with another.
Normally, the fee is collected at the time of the application but in some special cases, say, if the traveler is a victim of a disaster or a serious crime, the traveler can receive a limited-validity passport and the passport fee may be waived.
However, if the traveler applies for a full-validity passport, a regular fee must be paid!