It’s the dreaded nightmare of any overseas traveler: the loss of a passport. While this can be unnerving, it doesn’t necessarily mean the it’s the end of the world. Stay calm. Following these steps to replacing a lost passport while on vacation will make this terrible occurrence nothing more than a memory.
First, as soon as you realize that you cannot find your passport, contact the nearest U.S. embassy. When you visit the State Department’s website, you will find a listing these embassies and/or consulates by country.
Depending on the details of your lost or stolen passport, you will either fill out a Form DS-64, or complete a sworn statement detailing the circumstances. It is also a good idea to inform the police, as you may require a police report should the embassy or consulate suspect fraud.
You will also need proof of identity. Your driver’s license will suffice; however, if all of your documents were stolen or lost at the same time, you may need a friend or an associate to provide a sworn statement as to your identity. (It is a good idea not to keep all of your identifying documents in one place for this very reason. Also, if you make copies of all of your documents before your trip, it can greatly ease the process of obtaining replacements.)
The consulate will then perform a search in the Passport Verification System that will allow them to confirm that you did, in fact, have a passport issued. This search will also reveal if there are any court orders or warrants for your arrest that would have prevented you from obtaining travel documents.
When all of the above checks out, you will then complete the replacement passport application. Then you will have a new passport photograph taken, after which you will then submit the application. There will be processing fees, so be sure that you have these funds on hand.
Now, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Within 24 hours, you will have your replacement passport and be able to continue your vacation, getting back to the relaxation you came for.
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