Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Guest Post: What to do if you lose a passport while traveling overseas

by Ripley Daniels

Losing your U.S. passport can truly be a nightmare but imagine how much worse it would be to lose it while vacationing overseas. Every year, thousands of American travelers misplace their passports while traveling abroad so it's best to have a plan of action just in case you lose your passport on your next international trip.
  • Step #1. Find out where the U.S. Embassy is located in the country where you are currently vacationing. A quick way to find out the locations of the various U.S. Embassies around the world is by visiting travel.state.gov.

  • Step #2. As soon as you figure out the location of the U.S. Embassy, you need to make an emergency appointment to get a replacement U.S. passport. Most U.S. Embassies don't allow walk-in appointments.

  • Step #3. In order to expedite your emergency appointment, be prepared to bring with you or fill out the following documents; a completed DS-64 which is the form for the lost/stolen passport and a completed DS-11 which is the form for the new U.S. passport. If you have access to the internet, you can download these forms and fill them out before your appointment. In regards to supporting documents, you will need to have a valid U.S. Birth Certificate or a U.S. Naturalization Certificate and a form of identification i.e. driver's license, state ID, US Government ID or a Military ID.

  • Step #4. Most American travelers don't travel with their birth certificates so it is best that you make sure your birth certificate is somewhere close where a family member or friend can locate it and Fed-Ex it to you for overnight delivery.

  • Step #5. After you have submitted all of your documentation, you will need to pay the appropriate fee in order to obtain the limited U.S. passport. The fees for the limited US passport are as follows:

    • U.S. Passport New - $135

    • U.S. Passport Renewal - $110

    • U.S. Minor Passport - $105

    • Add Visa Pages - $85

    Most U.S. Embassies takes all major credit cards, cash, traveler's checks, money orders and banker's drafts, however no personal checks are allowed.

  • Step #6. Depending on the schedule at the U.S. Embassy, you may receive your limited validity U.S. passport on the same day or within one business day. This passport is only good for one year and will need to be renewed and replaced with a traditional 10-year passport once you have returned back to the United States.

    Ripley Daniels is an editor at Without The Stress, a passport, travel visa, and immigration advisory firm located in Los Angeles.


  1. Steps 3, 4, and 6 are incorrect.

    I lost my passport to theft in Mumbai in 2009. Because my purse containing my wallet and Chicago drivers license had been stolen two months prior, I had no ID card. And who the hell travels (for work, expatriatism, tourism, or whathaveyou) with a birth certificate?

    It is extremely superior sense to always carry a photocopy of your info page and visa stamp page from your passport. Bc I carried that,
    the US Embassy in Mumbai put a permanent replacement passport in my sweaty white hand within a week without hassle. I repeat: it was a permanent passport, which have given me no worries at all in any countries I've visited since 2009.


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  3. That is rally an important question to know everyone and I am really so pleased to get this instruction of what to do if you lose a passport while traveling overseas. That is really good job indeed. Take it up..

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