Whether you are preparing for a trip or ready to return from one and your worst nightmare comes to fruition. Your passport is nowhere to be found. You recall the last place you saw it or so you think. However, it is not there now, and panic starts setting in. You start asking yourself many questions, and you don’t have a sound answer. Should you take the trip? Can I go home without a passport? Keep reading; this will give you solutions to your dilemma.
What You Should Do First
The moment you realize your document is missing, you should contact the State Department by calling the toll-free number at 1-202-647-4000. You should call the number if you are in the U.S. or any U.S. territories. If you are abroad and unable to call the number, try and get in contact with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country you are visiting.
Notifying the authorities will put a hold on the lost or stolen document. It will prevent anyone who may have your passport and try to use it from doing so. Once you report your passport lost or stolen and you get it back, you cannot use it again. It will be invalid even though it had your information and was yours.
Apply For a Replacement Passport
Now that the authorities are aware of your lost or stolen passport, you can apply for a new one. To apply, you must complete two forms. The forms are DS-64 and DS-11. DS-64 is the Lost or Stolen Passport Replacement Form, and DS-11 is Application for a New Passport.
Along with both forms, you must provide supporting documents. The supporting documents are:
- Proof of identity:
- Photo ID
- Birth Certificate
- Naturalization Certificate
- Passport Size Photo
- Application Fee
To get your lost or stolen passport replacement, you can submit the documents at an acceptance facility. The most convenient place is the post office. Other locations include county clerk’s offices, courthouses, and public libraries. The time frame for processing at the post office is 4-6 weeks. It is the regular processing time. However, if you need it sooner, the expedited process is available. With it, you can have your new passport in 2-3 weeks.
Two other options can get you a passport in 24 hours. The two options that can make this possible are a regional agency or a private expeditor. However, you must provide proof of travel and pay a hefty fee for the service.
Keeping Your Passport in a Safe Place
Once you receive your new document, consider keeping it in a safe place. If you have a safe or any storage that you can access easily, you should keep your passport in it. When you are traveling, have your document with you if necessary. Otherwise, leave it at the hotel in the safe or somewhere with a lock and key. The main idea is to prevent your document from becoming lost or stolen.