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Passport, Visas, Customs

Replacing  a lost passport is a complicated business involving various forms and proofs of identification.  Read our overview of the process to prepare - "just in case".


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Travel Advice - What to do if you lose your passport

All forms mentioned in this article can be downloaded from the website of the U.S. Department of state.  

If your passport is lost or stolen while you are still in the U.S., you will need to apply for a new passport in person and report the loss of your passport on Form DS 64 (if your passport is still valid).

If you do not want to apply for a new passport immediately, you may report your lost or stolen passport by completing Form DS-64 and mailing it to the address on the form.

  • Alternatively, call (1-877-487-2778 (TTY 1-888-874-7793.

If you are abroad and lose your passport, report the loss of your passport immediately to local police authorities and the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate. You will need to speak to the American Citizen Services Unit of the Consular Section of the Embassy. If your travel plans have you departing the country soon you will need to provide the Consular Section with details regarding your departure schedule.

  • In order to continue your travels, you will need to complete a new passport application. Since September 11, 2001, embassies cannot issue new passports. Instead, you will be issued a temporary passport that must be re-issued when you return to the United States.
  • The officer at the embassy must be reasonably satisfied as to your identity.  It is always useful to make a Xerox copy of the Passport Information pages in your passport and keep multiple copies with you while you travel (including one in your money belt).
  • Having a copy of your passports information helps expedite the process but you will have to provide:

1. Personal Data (including, but not limited to) :

• Your name • date of birth • place of birth • passport number (if available) • date and place where your passport was issued


2. Affidavit Regarding Loss/Theft of the Passport/Police Report:

When you report the loss, theft, or misplacement of your passport, you must execute an affidavit fully describing the circumstances under which it was lost or stolen. A police report is not mandatory but may be required when the embassy/consulate believes a problem may exist such as possible fraud.

3. Citizenship Verification and Name Clearance:

The U.S. embassy/consulate will attempt to confirm your previous passport issuance through its Passport Verification System.

4. Proof of Identity:

You will also be asked for some proof of your identity. If all your personal papers were lost or stolen with your passport, your identity can be established in a number of ways. In most cases, the problem of identity can be resolved quickly.

Note: the normal passport fees are collected from applicants for replacement passports. Applicants who have had all of their money stolen will be asked to provide names of persons they feel would be able to assist them financially, if there is sufficient time.

U.S. passports are not routinely issued by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad on weekends and holidays when the embassy/consulate is closed. Embassies should have an off hours duty officer who may be able to help. Usually, you will have to wait until the embassy re-opens after the weekend.  If you are scheduled to travel directly to the United States, the duty officer may be able to assist in issuing a transportation letter to the airline and alerting U.S. Customs and Immigration to the fact that you will be attempting to enter the United States without a passport.

Remember to place a piece of paper with your current, local, travel address  in your passport so that, if the passport is lost of stolen and later found, it can be returned to you.

  • We recommend that you place several "sticky" notes in the back of your passport and fill one out each time you are going to be at a local address for a few days and place the "sticky note" with your local contact number in the front of your passport.
  • Also, make sure that your U.S. local address is entered (in pencil – in case you move) in the appropriate section in the front of your passport.
  • Finally, see our section on the using a money belt to protect you travel document and funds.
  • For more information on this topic see this page at the U.S. Department of State website.

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