Expert advice on what to do if you lose your passport on vacation

U.S. passport next to a flight window

There’s no denying losing your passport far from home is less than ideal, but it’s actually one of the most common problems U.S. Embassies face. Meaning that in many countries, there is a simple process to securing a new passport in time for your return trip home. At Faye, not only will we help you with the logistics and the right place to take photos, but you can also get reimbursed up to $50 to help you cover the expenses.

Here are the six steps our Customer Experience Specialist, Henriette Sayegh, recommends taking if you lose your passport while traveling abroad.

1. Get in touch with your insurance provider and contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Faye is there to help every step of the way so the first thing you should do is reach out to Faye and let them know you lost your passport. Our Customer Experience Team will give you the U.S. Embassy details or reach out to the embassy on your behalf to find out what documents and information you need to provide, as well as a timeline for your replacement passport.

If you’d like to reach out to the embassy yourself, friendly FYI that in the Faye app, under emergency contact info, you can find the number for the embassy in your destination country anytime.

2. File a police report

Talk to the police about what happened to your passport so you can obtain an official document that it was stolen or went missing. This step won’t speed up the replacement process, but the embassy will want a copy and it will help with your travel insurance claim (more on that in step 6).

3. Take a new passport photo

When you head to the embassy, you’ll need photos for your new passport, so taking care of this as soon as possible will help you speed things up. Here are the current requirements for U.S. passport photos.

4. Fill out forms to report your lost or stolen passport and apply for a new passport

There are two documents you’ll need to fill out and bring with you to the embassy: an application for a new passport – Form DS-11 – and a statement reporting your passport as lost or stolen – Form DS-64. Both can be found here.

Once you fill these forms out, your lost passport will be invalidated so no one else can use it. Make sure you’ve checked everywhere before completing this step because if you find your passport after, you will not be able to use it.

5. Head to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to file for your new passport

After you’ve spoken with someone from the embassy, gotten your passport photos, and filled out the necessary forms, it’s time to go there in person and get yourself a new passport.

Here is the full list the U.S. Department of State asks for during that visit:

It’s always a good idea to have a picture or photocopy of your passport for this exact reason and to travel with a driver’s license or a second form of identification. If you don’t have everything on the list, the consular staff will do their best to assist you in replacing your passport quickly.

Note that the passport you receive while abroad may be temporary (if you’re scheduled to leave the country in the next few days) and only valid for one year. With this limited passport, you’ll receive a letter from the embassy or consulate that you should keep in case it’s requested by officials. Once back in the US, if your new passport is only temporary, you should apply for a standard one as soon as possible.

6. File a claim for your lost passport

After you’ve worked things out to get your new passport, you can file a claim and may be reimbursed $50 for the covered fees associated with its replacement. Simply reach out to our Customer Experience Team via the Faye app, via email or by phone. It’s important to note that you must provide a police report stating you lost your passport or it was stolen in order to be reimbursed, so don’t skip step 2.

Steer clear of travel troubles

It’s a good idea to create a travel emergency kit that includes photos of your passport on your phone and a printed copy, an extra passport photo, and a valid photo ID. We also suggest locking your passport in a safe or locked suitcase whenever possible while traveling. If you’re a carry my passport with me everywhere type of traveler, perhaps invest in a secure money belt. And don’t forget to pack Faye in your carry-on for help with the hiccups along the way.

Reference: US State Department’s Lost or Stolen Passports Abroad FAQs.

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