Important Information About Obtaining A Replacement Passport

by garrett on August 24, 2011

When people schedule international travel and find that their passports are stolen, damaged or lost, they often fear that a replacement will not be ready in time for their departure. However, the US State Department has established easy procedures not only for applying for a replacement passport but also for expediting passports. Applicants should complete the required forms, bring required identification, provide a current photograph and pay the mandatory fee.

Form DS-11

Form DS-11 must be completed to obtain replacement passports. Form DS-11 may be printed from the State Department website or may be picked up at a local agency. Applicants must remember not to sign the form until they are in the presence of their acceptance agent.

US Citizenship

Applicants must provide appropriate identification. To provide evidence of US citizenship, applicants may bring a driver’s license, a naturalization certificate or a government or military ID. If the applicant does not have any of those documents, he or she may bring a letter from an identifying witness, an employee ID card or a social security card.

Photocopied ID

Identification must be photocopied on paper measuring 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Images may only be photocopied on one side of the sheet of paper and it must be free of any other markings or images. The State Department requires copies of both the back and the front of the identifying document. Also,applicants may expand the image but should not decrease its size.

Personal Photograph

The State Department requires a photograph that meets strict requirements. The entire photo must measure 2 by 2 inches and the head in the image must be between 1 and 1 3/8 inches. Also, images should be printed using colored ink on quality photo paper and should be set against a neutral background. The applicant’s photograph should utilize a neutral facial expression and should depict the applicant’s full-face view.

Expedited Services

Applicants who are traveling within two weeks may apply to expedite their passports. Applicants may make an appointment with their closest regional passport office by calling the office and following an automated system. At the end of the call, applicants will receive a date and time, the office address and a confirmation number. Applicants will need to bring their DS-11, their identification, their photo and a printed itinerary or e-ticket for their trip. In addition to the regular fee, applicants will pay a rush fee for expedited passports.

Applicants may also obtain replacement passports through a private expediter. Applicants should call the expediter to verify that the telephone number is valid and should browse online to find any available reviews of the agency, which describe customer experiences. Before extending service, the expediter should explain the process along with all fees that will be charged to the client.

Stolen, lost, or damaged passports are an annoyance but are not impossible to handle. To ensure a smooth application process, applicants should take all required items to the agency including forms, identification, identification photocopies and photographs. If applicants need an expedited a replacement passport, they should telephone their nearest regional office or seek the assistance of a private expediting company. You can also get a replacement for a passport for minors.

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