Carrying passport for international travel is mandatory. The document acts as an identity proof of the traveler and one will not be allowed entry in a foreign land without a valid passport. Again it is in this passport only that visa stamps are affixed. As a result, the grave importance of passport is well understood. However, accidents might happen and you can lose your US passport unfortunately. It might also get stolen by ill fate. What does a US citizen do in such a situation in a foreign land? The first and obvious reaction is that one gets panicked and anxious. But keep your calm. Innumerable cases of lost and stolen passports are reported. By following the right steps and procedures, obtaining a new passport will not be an issue.

Since there are chances of the passport being lost or stolen during traveling, it is always recommended to keep copies of the same safely in some place and carry one copy so that it can be produced as evidence as and when required. With advanced technology, it is now possible to keep digital image of the passport in the phone itself. Even if the real passport is lost, the digital image can be used for proving US citizenship. These evidences also help in acquiring a new passport easily and quickly.

Steps to follow when you lose your US passport or it gets stolen

1.Get in touch with the US consulate or embassy which is nearest to you

This is the first thing that needs to be done when you lose your US passport in a foreign land. The case has to be reported to the consular section particularly. The location and contact information of US embassies and consulates all over the world are available in the US State Department’s website. While reporting your case to the consular officer, tell him if you have been a victim of some kind of crime or that you found your passport missing suddenly. Also, let them know your tenure of staying in the country. This will help in deciding if you need a passport with full validity or an emergency passport with limited validity.

2.Contacting the police

Though it might be an extremely unpleasant experience, one must report the case of lost/stolen passport to the local police. There are times when this report helps in confirming that your document is truly stolen or lost and the process of getting a new passport is smoothened.

3.Reporting lost passport to US Department of State

There are two ways in which the loss/stealing of US passport can be reported to the US Department of State.

  • First, Form DS-64 needs to be filled; this is a Statement Regarding Stolen or Lost Passport. This form must be filled only if the lost passport is valid. There are many questions that need to be answered in the form. Answer them in as much details as possible. Once completed, the form has to be mailed to US Department of State, Passport Services, Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section.
  • Another way of reporting passport loss is by calling the National Passport Information Center at toll-free number 1-877-487-2778. Getting the line through might be a challenge.


4.Filling Form DS-11 – application for getting new US passport

When applying for a fresh passport after passport loss /stealing, the process is almost same as applying a new passport altogether. Form DS-11 must be filled up completely in an error-free manner for passport application in Tampa. There are two options in which the application form can be completed. First, Form DS-11 can be filled and completed online. Second, application for new passport can be printed and then filled up offline. Black ink should be used in filling up the application form and the writing should be legible with no overwriting. The signature on the application form should be done when the acceptance agent asks to.

5.Collecting supporting documents

Just filling the DS-11 application form will not do for getting a replacement of lost/stolen US passport. Supporting documents have to be submitted just like fresh passport application or passport renewal in Tampa, FL. Mentioned below are some of the documents which are needed:

  • Identity evidence
  • Recently clicked passport photo – 1 number
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Identification document’s photocopy

The document which will be furnished as citizenship proof should either be an original or a certified copy. After the processing of the passport, this document is returned to the applicant. When parents apply for replacement of lost passport for minor, they have to submit proof of relationship with the child. Parents will need to submit valid photo ID proof.

6.Visiting passport application acceptance facility

The application form along with all the supporting documents has to be submitted at some application acceptance facility with an authorized agent. The agent will scrutinize the application form and the supporting documents thoroughly. The application form will be signed by you in front of the agent. The payment of execution fee is to be done to the acceptance agent. The payment of application fee should be done in the name of US Department of State.

It takes about 6 weeks for the processing of passport for lost/stolen cases. At additional fees, expedite services are also available. The lost passport is replaced within 2-3 weeks in such cases. You might need to go to a regional agency and take appointment for quicker delivery of the passport. Contact or visit passport office in Tampa for further information on lost /stolen passports.

Published by Edward Martin