What would you do if you lost your passport overseas or just before you begin your journey from home? Well, losing your passport means having to wait out a potential delay on your trip and sometimes even having to spend extra money as you are having it replaced. Therefore, it’s very important to be prepared and know what to expect which will make things a little easier for yourself. It’s highly recommended that you take a photo or a photocopy of your passport’s main page before you hit the road. But in case you haven’t, here’s what to do if you’ve lost your passport:
Panic often leads to costly mistakes, and losing something as valuable as a passport can lead to a great deal of panic. Your first instinct will probably be to contact the authorities, which is okay, but before you report it lost, look again. Brenda Sprague, a deputy assistant secretary in the U.S Department of State says, “Once a passport is reported lost, too bad.”
Have someone else sift through your stuff before reporting your passport lost if you don’t want to make matters more complicated for a passport that was simply misplaced. Once you report a passport to be stolen or lost, it will immediately become invalid and all your credentials will go through the Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database. This typically means that even if you do find your passport eventually, you won’t be able to use it. And you may even get in trouble for using an invalid passport cannot use the passport. Therefore, keep calm and look for it thoroughly before calling it in.
Call it in
If you are overseas, it would be more than imperative to contact a U.S embassy or consulate once you’re certain that your passport is lost or has been stolen. You will have to schedule an emergency appointment; although, keep in mind that the embassy will be closed and won’t be able to issue any document on weekends or holidays. Once you’ve paid the fee, you will be given an emergency passport. Getting the temporary/emergency passport usually takes 6 to 24 hours, which you can replace with an actual passport once you’ve returned to the United States. If you lost your passport in your home country, please file a report on your State Department’s website. Though, you will still have to get it done in person once you’ve filed the report.
Have a Plan
If you are visiting a country like France, here’s what to do if you’ve lost your passport. First, make sure you have copy of your itinerary for leaving the country because France and several other countries may not accept an emergency passport since it lacks an electronic data chip found in a regular passport. Also, make sure to take a photo of your passport at the embassy. Remember, U.S embassy or consulates may only be accept cash for specific services, so be sure to have cash whether in U.S currency or local currency. Although credit cards may also be accepted in most cases, there is nothing wrong with being prepared at all times. Have your credit card at all times and some cash since personal checks are also usually not accepted.
Sourced from: travelandleisure