How To Replace A Lost Passport

by garrett on August 24, 2011

When even the most experienced traveler loses his or her passport, panic may ensue. However, replacements are easy to obtain and may even be expedited so that travel plans may continue as scheduled. The US State Department recommends the immediate reporting of a stolen or lost passport in order to avert an identity theft situation.

Form DS-64

People should start by filling out Form DS-64. The form has spaces for personal information, the card and book numbers for old passports and a paragraph explaining where, when and how the documents were lost. People must also explain any actions they took in an attempt to recover their passports. The form may be mailed to the State department, if travelers are not immediately seeking new documentation and the address is available on the State Department website.

Form DS-11

Form DS-11 should be submitted along with Form DS-64 for new passports. Applicants must remember to sign the DS-11 form only in front of their Acceptance Agent. US citizens may bring multiple forms of identification to an agency, including naturalization certificates, driver’s licenses or IDs from the government or military. If necessary, agencies may accept secondary forms of signature ID, including a letter from an identifying witness, employee ID cards, or social security cards. To obtain replacement passports, applicants must pay a standard fee.

Photocopies Of ID

Applicants must also provide photocopies of their identifying documents. Copies should contain images of the front and back of the identifying document,on only one side of a piece of 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper. Images may not be decreased in size, although they may be enlarged. Also, pages should have no extraneous images or markings.


Applicants must bring a photograph to the agency for replacement passports. The photograph should depict the applicant as he or she currently appears and should conform to the State Department’s exact guidelines. Many applicants decide to use a professional photography service to assure compliance with guidelines.

In Person Or Online?

In-person application is required when replacing stolen or lost passports. When travel is scheduled in two weeks or fewer, applicants may schedule appointments with their regional office. Appointments are scheduled through an automated telephone process after which an applicant will receive the address of the office, the time of the appointment and the confirmation number. Applicants will pay the standard fee as well as the rush fee and should come to the office with all documentation, including travel itineraries or e-tickets.

Expedited Services

Travelers may find help from a private expediter. Before choosing a service, applicants should ensure that the company has a good reputation by checking to see if customers have left positive or negative comments online. Also, applicants should call the telephone number of the service to verify that it is a working number.

More detailed information may be found by checking the State Department’s website or by contacting the closest agency. Travelers should report a stolen or lost passport immediately to avoid unnecessary delays and incidences of identity theft. Losing a passport may be unsettling but easy solutions are in place to guarantee a replacement in an emergency. You can always get an expedited new passport.

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