Your Passport is Lost or Stolen – What to Do

BY Beth Williams

In case your passport is lost or stolen in a foreign country, the need to act quickly is urgent. You need to report your lost passport soon as possible to the US Consulate or Embassy nearest you. They will then assist you in getting a replacement passport.  Also, you need to know what you have to do next. There are crucial steps you need to take, considering that your lost passport contains your personal information. And identity thieves thrive on stealing other people’s personal information. Here’s what to do in case of a lost or stolen passport and how to do it quickly.

What it Feels Like When Your Passport is Stolen

Report the Missing or Stolen Passport to the Police 

As soon as you realize your passport is missing, you should contact the nearest police authorities and make a police report.  Obtain a copy of the police report whenever possible, or at least a receipt with the report number. It should be noted that a police report is not mandatory but may be required when the embassy/consulate believes a problem may exist such as possible fraud. An applicant eligible to receive a passport should not be placed in circumstances to miss a plane or unreasonably delay travel to obtain a police report.

Contact the US Embassy or Consulate

If out of the country and as soon as you find out that your passport is missing call the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Calling them is fast and convenient. However, you may be unable to contact them outside of the office hours, during weekends, and federal holidays and may have to wait until the next working day. Go online; you can contact some locations via the web.

Phone numbers for U.S. embassies and consulates are available here Country Specific Information and also here Key Officers Handbook. You will need to speak to the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section. If you are scheduled to leave the foreign country shortly, please provide the Consular Section with details regarding your departure schedule. Every effort will be made to assist you quickly. You will also be directed to where you can obtain the required passport photos.

Submit a New Passport Application

You will be asked to fill out a DS-11 form, which is the standard passport application form. You are not required to know the passport number or issuance date to apply for a new passport. You can find the form on-line.

If the passport is still valid, you must also complete the DS-64 form to report the lost or stolen passport. You will be asked to report how, where, and when you lost your current passport, what you did to recover it, and what the end result was. This form must be submitted with the DS-11 application.

In emergencies, you may contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) for support by calling (877) 487-2778.  They can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m until 10 p.m. ET; an automated system is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to find out the status of an application, you can now check online.

If a Relative or Friend Tells You Their U.S. Passport is Lost/Stolen

If your friend or relative is out of the country you may wish to contact Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225 at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. providing as much information about possible about the person who needs passport services abroad. This will assist in trying to verify the person’s previous passport, clearing the person’s name through the Department Passport Name Check System, and relaying this information to the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate to . Your relative/friend must apply for a new passport at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Lost Passport Form Submission

To report a lost passport you must fill in a Form DS-64 and mail in the form. You cannot submit it electronically.The Form DS-6 contains your statement regarding your lost passport. Because of this, you need to be thorough and accurate when filling in the items in this form. Make sure you don’t leave any important item unanswered before submitting this paperwork.

  • Once you are done filling in the DS-64, you will have to submit it. You have the option of sending it through the mail or submitting it in person. A personal appearance is required should you decide to submit this form along with your application for a new passport.
  • The DS-11 is the form you’ll use to apply for a new passport. This form requires you to submit it in person. Today, you no longer need to go to the nearest passport office to get this form. Instead, simply download it from the US Department of State’s website. From there, you can fill in the form on your computer or you can print it out first before filling it in by hand.

Your US Passport is Invalid Once it is Reported Lost

Because of this, you will no longer be able to use your passport even if you recover it. This is done by the Department of State as a security measure to ward off identity thieves and fraud. And since an invalidated passport is no longer usable, you will need to get a new passport.

Process for Applying for a Passport- Info Graphic

Passport application process