Replacing A Lost US Passport Is Fast And Easy

by garrett on October 11, 2011

A lost US passport is a bummer, especially if you have plans to travel or if you are already out of the country. Luckily, it is easy to replace. Once you report it missing and it has been cancelled by the authorities, the process is irreversible and you cannot reactivate it. Make sure it really is gone before you notify the authorities.

Inform The US State Department

The first thing you must do is let the State Department know that it is missing. If you are within the United States, the office is in the nation’s capital,Washington, D. C. If you are outside the USA, inform the US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are located. Do this as soon as you have confirmed it is truly lost so that it may be cancelled to prevent someone from using it.

Form DS-64

You can report it by telephone or by sending in a completed and signed form called a DS-64. You can download it from the American State Department web site. By the way, if you happen to find a passport that belongs to somebody else, tuck it into a sturdy envelope and send it either to the State Department in Washington, D. C. or to the nearest US Embassy.

If You Find It

If, for some reason, your passport re-emerges after you have notified the authorities it is missing, pop it into an envelope and mail it to the State Department. They will invalidate it and mail it back to you, if you have requested this, or they will arrange for its destruction.


The next thing you need to do is request a replacement. If you are within the USA, you can apply in person either at a Passport Agency or at an Acceptance Facility. There are a couple dozen or so Passport Agencies throughout the country and a greater number of Acceptance Facilities. This can be a post office, a library, clerk or the court or other type of government office.

Form DS-11

An application form will need to be completed. This is called a DS-11. You will also need your DS-64, two color photographs, proof of US citizenship and proof of your identity. The requirements for the two photographs are very precise so make certain your photographer is familiar with them. You will also be required to pay an application fee.

Expedited Services

Getting a replacement if you are in a hurry to leave the country or if you are already overseas is reasonably easy. There are a lot of private agencies that are prepared to take this on board for you. They offer several levels of service, depending on how quickly the replacement is required. The sooner you need it, the higher the fee.

Whether you need to replace a lost US passport within a one or two weeks or a couple of days, the procedure for securing a new one is essentially the same. As well as submitting the documents required for a non-urgent replacement, you will need to provide evidence of when you are planning to travel. Most levels of expedited new US passport service are available over the Internet. If you require same-day service, this too is available. It just takes a phone call.

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