Stolen U.S. Passports: What To Do If You Get Stuck In Another Country

by erin on June 15, 2010

We all know that during vacations, very little goes as planned. And when you’re one of the unfortunate few who are faced with missing or stolen US passports, it’s easy to panic. However, there are things you can do in order to ensure that you obtain a new one as quickly as possible so you can continue enjoying your vacation or so you can return home with as little delay as possible.

First, relax. It’s easy to get panicked when you realize you can’t find your passport. Anyone would. However, panicking will not help you. So relax and take a deep breath. There is a solution.

The next thing to do if you lose your passport is immediately contact the closest US embassy. Do not wait, and do not procrastinate. If your passport gets into the wrong hands, it could put you in very real danger. Identity theft has become an increasingly common problem all over the world, and passports prove to be an excellent tool for those looking to steal someone’s identity.

You will need to talk to someone from the American Citizens Service department of the Consular Section when you reach the embassy. The first thing they will do is invalidate your stolen passport, meaning no one can use it. Next, they will let you know what exactly to do in order to go about getting your new pasports and the necessary photos.

If your passport was stolen, be sure to report it to the local law enforcement. They will also create a report. This additional report goes towards making sure no one else uses your passport, and they are also used by the embassy in order to supplement their file on your stolen passport.

Make sure to give all the necessary information to the embassy that they will need in order to confirm your identity. This information includes but is not limited to your name, place and date of birth, where and when your passport was issued, as well as the passport number. Be sure to write down this information and keep it in a safe place. Having this information at the ready can drastically facilitate getting a new passport, meaning you will get your new passport quickly. Also, if your passport goes missing and you apply for another, contact someone in the United States. Make sure they know you will be delayed and that they may be contacted in order to help confirm your identity.

If you are thinking of traveling abroad, you might want to invest in a small purse or a money belt to wear underneath your clothes. Those who have their passports in conspicuous places are key targets for those looking to steal them. So simply keeping your passport – along with your other important items – in a safe, hidden spot can keep you safe from theft.

Lindsay Lohan, everyone’s favorite tabloid cover girl, was recently in the news claiming that her passport was stolen in France. She was unable to get back to Beverly Hills for her DUI case and she also missed some of her mandatory Alcohol Education courses. Despite the validity of her excuse, she was able to get a new U S passport and get home quickly. While you may go your entire life without having to deal with a stolen U S passport, simply being prepared and armed with this knowledge can help keep your passport safe. It can honestly happen to anyone, but those who are prepared ultimately fare better.

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