A U.S. citizen who loses his passport while travelling abroad does not need to file a police report with local authorities first to obtain a new passport from the U.S. government.. However, a police report may help in getting reimbursed for expenses associated with getting a new passport under the traveller's homeowner's insurance policy if the passport is lost while the traveller is abroad.
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If a Passport is Lost
The U.S. Department of State says it must be notified immediately when a passport is lost. It provides a toll-free number, (877) 487-2778, for passports lost in the United States. International travellers should report the loss to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The State Department's website contains a listing of all U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Links to each embassy or consulate give the open hours and indicate whether an appointment is needed.
Though not required, filing a police report about a stolen passport can be helpful. It provides information to confirm what happened to the passport. Additionally, the State Department says a passport officer may require a police report if she believes there is a problem, such as fraud. Reports should be filed with the nearest police station; travellers can ask someone from the hotel to accompany them and serve as a translator if necessary. Homeowners should check with their insurance companies as expenses of getting a replacement passport may be eligible for reimbursement.
Keep Copies of Passports
The State Department recommends making copies of the passport's identification page, and keeping them separate from the passport. If something happens to the passport, having a copy will expedite the replacement process. This is especially important for international travellers who probably won't have the documentation required to get a new passport with them.
The State Department requires anyone losing her passport to file Form DS-64, A Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport. The form asks for details about the lost passport, such as its number and what happened to it. This is where having a copy of the main page comes in handy. The form can be obtained online, from an embassy or consulate, or from a passport service facility if the loss occurred in the United States.
Travellers also need to file Form DS-11, which is the application for a new passport. Travellers need to provide DS-64; identification such as a birth certificate, driver's license or copy of the lost passport; two recent passport photos sized to U.S. requirements, and Social Security number. A replacement passport costs the same as a new or renewal passport.
Where to Apply
International travellers who apply at an embassy or consulate in the morning should get a passport the same day. If identification cannot be verified that day with the passport records office in Washington, D.C., travellers will be issued a temporary passport good for the duration of the trip. Travellers must apply in person for replacement passports, whether they are seeking the replacement passport abroad or in the United States
Once a passport is reported as lost or stolen, it cannot be used again, even if it is later found. The old passport is declared invalid, and should be submitted to the passport agency for cancellation. The State Department says travellers presenting an invalid passport may be denied re-entry into the United States.
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