What is the fastest way to replace a lost passport? If you discover that your passport is missing and can’t find it, no matter how hard or how long you’ve searched for it, the next thing that would come to your mind is how to replace it, especially if you have an upcoming trip already planned for. The bad news is that passports are not easy to get, even though the application process is straightforward.
It takes a minimum of six weeks to get a replacement, and in worse-case scenarios, you may wait for up to 10 weeks; that’s the sorry state of affairs at the Department of State. So how do you apply for a replacement and get it as soon as possible?
Apply For An Expedited Service
The best way to apply for a passport and get it as quickly as possible is to apply for expedited service. You can apply for expedited service by filling out the DS-11 application form and ticking the expedited service box. This service costs an extra $60, which is different from the standard application fee paid for the service. But before applying for a new passport, the first one must be reported as a lost passport or a stolen passport.
Steps To Take To Replace A Lost Passport
Be Sure It Is Missing: Don’t be in a hurry to apply for a replacement because you might just find the new passport, and if you do, it will be invalid if you have reported it as missing to the authorities. Start by checking your belongings carefully and only report them if you can’t find them.
If you were robbed or carjacked, don’t waste any time; report the incident immediately.
Report The Loss: There are two ways to report a lost passport; you call the Passport Information Center toll-free number or send a mail with your details to the passport agency to report the incident.
Apply For A Replacement: You can skip the second step and go ahead to apply for replacement but bear in mind that this action will invalidate the missing passport. To do so, you must fill out a DS-64 form for lost or stolen passports. This form contains a series of questions; answer as many of them as accurately as possible, then submit them along with other documents.
Items Required To Replace A Lost Passport
Aside from the DS-64 form, here are the other documents you will need.
DS-11: You need to fill out a DS-11 form; this form is used to apply for a new passport. Since you have lost your previous passport, you can’t apply for a renewal but a fresh passport. Fill it out, and don’t sign it until the official at the agency instructs you to. You can fill it out online using the Wizard or print it out and fill it with black ink in capital letters.
Proof of Citizenship: A proof of citizenship is required, such as a certificate of naturalization or birth certificate.
Identification: A valid identity card, such as a driver’s license, can be presented to prove one’s identity.
Photograph: A recent passport photo. The photo must be colored and on a white background; it must show your face clearly and not be bent or blurred.
Can I Apply For A Passport Replacement By Mail?
You can’t apply for a passport replacement by mail; mailing is only possible for a passport renewal if you still have your previous passport. But replacing your lost passport is like applying for a new one; you must present yourself to the passport agency to verify your documents and identity.
Conditions For Expedited Service
We pointed out in a previous paragraph that you can apply for expedited service if you want to get your passport very fast; however, the applicant can only avail of this service if they meet the set requirements as explained below.
Life or Death Emergency: Those involved in a life or death situation and need to travel urgently can apply for expedited service at the agency. They must submit evidence to prove to the officials why they must travel within the next three days. If there is a threat to life, this service can be triggered, and the State Department will produce the passport within 24-72 hours through its agency.
Urgent Travel: This condition is for those who wish to travel within the next 14 days. Just like with the life or death situation, the applicant must prove to the authorities why they need to travel so soon, and if their argument is convincing enough, they will be issued the passport within two weeks.
What is the fastest way to replace a lost passport? File for expedited service to quicken the process.