It’s one of the most important pieces of paper you will ever acquire. This is why your American passport is such a magnet for thieves. With it, a thief can assume your identity and make your life miserable. As soon as you realize your passport is lost or stolen, you need to report it to the proper authorities and get the wheels in motion for getting a new one.
When on Vacation
If you are on vacation in another country, you need to contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate. Odds are you are not vacationing in the city where the American Embassy happens to be. Contact the tourist bureau of the nearest large city for the information if you do not have Internet access. You will have to go there in person. Bring these things with you:
- · any other form of identification that you still have, such as a driver’s license
- · a recent clear photograph of yourself
- · any police reports pertaining to the loss or theft of your passport
- · some method of payment to cover the fees involved
Fill out form DS-64. Make sure you date the form. If you have access to a printer, you can print out the form from the American government’s website. If, for some reason, there is a problem getting a hold of this form, you will need to write out your details of the theft or the loss. This statement needs to be signed and presented as a sworn affidavit. Wait until your name and details are run through the Passport Verification System by an embassy or consulate employee. If approved, a new passport should be issued immediately.
When at Home
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are not on vacation, call the U.S Department of State’s toll-free number at 1-877-487-2778 anytime from 8 AM to 10 PM EST Monday through Friday. Go online to download form DS-64 and DS-11. Fill both out. If, for some reason, you cannot use the phone number, mail a copy of your filled out form DS-64 to the address listed on the state department’s website. If you absolutely know that the passport was stolen, contact the police and get a copy of the report. This will help in case someone tries to steal your identity.
Take the filled out forms DS-64 and DS-11 to an authorized passport agency. Bring checks, credit cards or some means to cover the fees. Many post offices are passport agencies. You need to show up in person. You may have your photograph taken.
If you find your passport after reporting it lost or stolen, that passport is no good. Mail it to the address on the State Department’s website. Unless you request otherwise, the old passport will be destroyed.