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A lost passport can easily disrupt your travels in a big way. Be prepared the next time you leave the States by reading this The Step by Step Guide on What to Do if You Lose Your Passport While Traveling.
One of the downsides of traveling is the fact that things get lost or stolen. No matter how vigilant you may be about keeping things safe, it can still happen. Things may fall out or that expert thief may take advantage of one of the few moments you may be off your guard.
It’s very easy to have your attention diverted when traveling. You could be dealing with the stresses of traveling through an airport or train station. You could be immersed in your magnificent surroundings you traveled so far to see. Your concentration could be taken over by the delectable cuisine you’re sampling.
Unfortunately, your mind cannot be focused on every little thing at every moment. No matter how on the ball you think you are, you’re human. The more you travel, the more likely something will get lost or stolen. It has happened to me and it can happen to you. Despite the monetary value of cash, credit cards, and jewelry, there is one thing you do not want to lose while traveling, especially abroad, and that is your passport. It is the one thing you have to have to go from country to country. It is what allows you to board the plane home or embark on that cruise ship. So if you ever find yourself in a passport-less situation, here is The Step by Step Guide on What to Do if You Lose Your Passport While Traveling.
Contact the Closest US Embassy or Consulate
You have to go to the US Embassy or Consulate to get your new passport. You will not be able to continue with your travel without a replacement. Call ahead and let them know what happened. If you’re a victim of a serious crime make sure to let them know. They will want to be able to provide you with the appropriate assistance for the situation you’re in.
Make Sure You Have All the Proper Documentation Required to Process a New Passport
Here is a list of what you will need:
- A Passport Photo It’s a good idea to bring some extra passport photos with you when you travel. That way you won’t have to search for a place in your destination. You must have this before you arrive at the embassy or consulate.
- Identification This can be a driver’s license, passport card, expired passport, etc.
- Evidence of US Citizenship This would be a birth certificate or photocopy of your missing passport. It should be a good rule of thumb when traveling internationally to have multiple copies of your passport stashed in various places just for this purpose. You want the copies to be of the information page in your passport. It’s also a good idea to leave a copy at home and even a copy with your emergency contact.
- Travel Itinerary Tickets for travel, hotel reservations, and cruise confirmations are good to have with you during this process.
- Police Report This is not required, but good to have if you filed one to report what was lost or stolen. It helps to confirm the circumstances of what led to the passport being lost or stolen.
- DS-11 Application for Passport You can fill this form out ahead of time or at time of application.
- DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport Just like the DS-11, you can fill this out ahead of time or at time of application.
Be Prepared to Pay Normal Passport Fees
You will have to pay the normal fees for your replacement passport. Thankfully, the replacement passport is valid for ten years. If you purchased travel insurance, you may be able to file a claim for reimbursement of the replacement passport fees.
There are extenuating circumstances in which you may be able to replace your passport without paying the fees. Those circumstances usually involve being a victim of a serious crime or disaster.
If you are unable to financially pay for the new passport, they will require you to provide names of people that you feel will be able to assist you in paying the fees. In rare circumstances, they may waive the fees and issue a limited-validity passport that will need to be replaced once you’re home in the US. You’ll be expected to pay the full fees then.
You should be aware that, with the exception of serious emergencies, the US Embassy or Consulate will not issue passports on the weekends or during holidays. So make sure to be extra vigilant during these times. There are after-hours duty officers in place for emergency situations, just make sure that it is a life or death situation before contacting them.
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Being prepared and having the knowledge of what to do in these types of circumstances will help you get through these irritating moments as efficiently as possible. Now that you’ve read this The Step by Step Guide on What to Do if You Lose Your Passport While Traveling hopefully your overall trip won’t be affected too much if you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
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