What happens if you lose your passport?

If you lose your passport, whether traveling abroad or in the U.S., you'll need to report the loss as soon as possible and apply for a replacement. If you're abroad: Work with the local U.S. embassy or consulate to get a permanent or temporary passport so you can return home. If you're in the U.S.: Report the passport missing (you can do this online) and apply for a new passport similar to how you applied for your first passport.

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What to do if you lose your passport abroad

If your passport is stolen or lost while you're traveling in another country, follow these steps to get a replacement:

  1. Report your missing passport

    If your passport is stolen or lost while you're out of the country, the U.S. Department of State says to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate office (ask for the Consular Section). This is where you can report a lost passport abroad and begin the process of getting a replacement passport, which you'll need to get home.

    When you contact the Consular Section, set up an appointment to visit the office and submit the necessary information. Filing a report with the local police is optional, but it can help your passport replacement process.

  2. Gather your documentation

    While abroad, you'll need to submit two forms to replace a lost or stolen passport: DS-64 and DS-11. DS-64 is your official report of the missing passport, and DS-11 is how you request a new passport. Before your appointment at the embassy or consulate, fill out the forms but don't sign them — you'll need to do that in person. Then gather all the supporting documentation required, as noted on the forms:

    • Proof of identification
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship
    • A photo that meets passport requirements
    • Travel itinerary
    • Police report, if filed and available
    • Parental evidence for applicants under 16

    Each form has more details about the accepted documents for applying for a passport and reporting a missing one. For example, an expired U.S. passport can serve as both proof of citizenship and identity — see more about how passports work. If you weren't born in the U.S., Form DS-11 provides a detailed list of documents you'll need to verify your citizenship claim.

  3. Submit your forms and payment

    Attend your appointment at the Consular Section to sign your forms, submit your documents, and provide your payment.

    Ask how long you should plan to wait for your new passport. If you need your replacement quickly, you may be eligible for an emergency "limited-validity" passport, which you'll surrender in exchange for a full-validity passport once you return home.

If you lose your passport in the U.S.:

You can skip the embassy or consulate and report your missing passport simply by completing form DS-64 via the State Department. You'll then need to apply for a new passport by submitting form DS-11 in person, just like if you were applying for a passport for the first time.

Knowing what to do if you lose your passport abroad or if your passport is stolen while abroad or at home is an important part of safe travel. The U.S. State Department recommends you make two photocopies of your passport before you travel. Leave one at home with someone you trust and take the other with you, kept separate from your actual passport in case it goes missing.

If waiting for your replacement creates a delay that interrupts your travel plans or creates related losses, travel insurance may help (as long as you purchased a policy before your trip and your particular circumstances are covered).

How much does it cost to replace a lost passport while abroad?

The cost to replace a lost passport while abroad depends on the country you're in — check the country's U.S. embassy or consulate's website to find out. There may be fee exceptions if you're experiencing certain extraordinary circumstances, or you may be able to designate individuals at home who can cover the costs.

If you're replacing your passport in the U.S.: you can generally expect the State Department passport fees to be the same as if you were applying for the first time since you'll be using form DS-11, the form required for a new passport application.

How long does it take to replace a lost passport internationally?

How long it takes to replace a lost passport depends on where you are and how quickly you need the replacement — it can be as soon as the next business day or as long as a couple of months. If you're abroad and traveling soon, the embassy or consulate will work to get your replacement or limited-validity passport as soon as possible — sometimes within the next business day if needed. See the State Department's FAQs for more information.

If you're in the United States: You can get your passport replacement in 14 days or less by applying at a passport agency or center, but only if your travel itinerary meets the requirements. If you won't be traveling for at least 3–5 weeks, you'll apply at a passport acceptance facility and can expect to get your new passport in the current processing times (usually a couple months or 3–5 weeks with expedited fees).

Can your identity be stolen if you lose your passport?

Yes, someone can steal your identity by using your lost passport. If there's a chance that your missing passport could end up in the wrong hands, take a few steps to prevent identity theft and limit the damage:

  • File a fraud alert: File a fraud alert with one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

  • File a police report: Filing a police report with local authorities will help identify a fraudster if your passport turns up.

  • File a report with the FTC: File a report with the Federal Trade Commission through IdentityTheft.gov. The FTC offers help with personalized plans to recover from identity theft.

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