If I lost my Passport, what do I do? Is there any way to retrieve it back, or do I go ahead to apply for a new one? If you have applied for a US passport before, you know how stressful the experience can be and the length of time you need to wait to get it; that is why protecting your Passport at all costs is in your best interest. However, life happens to us no matter how careful we try to be; that is why it is always good to plan for eventualities.
To help you navigate such a possibility, we have prepared a step by step guide on how to deal with a lost or stolen passport. Keep reading to find out.
If I Lost My Passport, What Do I Do?
Here are the steps you should take if your passport lost or stolen.
Report The Loss
If you lose your Passport and have ransacked your home or office and can’t find it, the next course of action is to report the loss to the Department of State immediately or the local police. The longer you stay without doing this, the higher the chance of someone using your identity to perpetrate fraud. Besides preventing Identity theft, reporting it will make it impossible for someone else to use it to commit a crime of intent. When you report the loss, it clears the way for you to apply for a replacement. lost passport renewals require the presentation of a previous passport, but without yours, this will be impossible. But if you report that yours is missing, you can apply for a new one.
Apply For A Replacement
After reporting the missing Passport, the next step is to apply for a new passport immediately, especially if you are overseas or need to travel soon. You can apply for a new passport using different means, such as booking an appointment with a passport agency if you are within the US or the US embassy if you are abroad. This process may take some time, which is why it is best to act early enough.
The DS-64 form is an important document that is part of the documentation process. The form is used to report a lost or stolen passport online, and you must present the form in person at the application center. The steps to follow will depend on the application route. Those inside the US must search for the nearest passport agency using their ZIP code and book an appointment. Those living overseas will require a valid government-issued ID card like a driver’s license and photocopies of their previous Passport if they have it.
In addition to the DS-64 declaration form is the DS-11 application form for applying for a new passport. Other documents must be combined with both forms and submitted for processing.
There is an application fee for processing a new passport. The average passport replacement fee is $130, but you may need to pay an extra $60 fee if you want to speed up the process due to an emergency. How you pay these fees will depend on where you apply. Embassies have different payment methods compared to Passport agencies.
Once you have submitted your documents and presented yourself for biometric data capturing, you will have to wait for the Passport to be ready. Passports take between 6-9 weeks to be ready, but if you can prove that you need to travel because of an emergency, you can get it within three days to 2 weeks after you’ve applied.
Passport Application Documents
Beside the DS-64 and DS-12 forms, here are the other documents you must attach to your application.
ID Card: A valid government-issued ID card for at least six months.
Passport Photo: A recently taken passport photograph that meets the photograph requirements of the Department of State. The image must be clear and standard and must not be older than six months.
Citizenship: Proof that you are an American citizen. A birth certificate or certificate of naturalization will suffice.
Parents and guardians must present their documents and the child to the authorities for a new passport alongside theirs and the child’s documents.
Passport Card vs. Passport Booklet
Both of them are valid US passports, but one is widely used and more expensive than the other. A passport card is much smaller and can only be used for land travels through the Canadian and Mexico border; a booklet, on the other hand, can be used for land, air, and sea travel but is much more expensive. You may opt for both if you have the financial resources to cover their application fees.
If I lost my Passport, what do I do? Quickly report the situation, then apply for a replacement.