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How to Easily Replace a Lost Passport

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How to Easily Replace a Lost Passport

When a passport is lost, the passport holder’s first thought is where it was last seen. The desk and suitcases are quickly searched but nothing can be found. If travel is planned in the near future, time becomes of the essence and this adds to the traveler’s stress. If the lost passport is not located, it must be replaced quickly while in the midst of finalizing the travel plans.

The passport may be replaced by going online to the United States Post Office or Department of State Web sites. These sites contain all of the information and paperwork needed to obtain a new passport. However, the processing time is eight weeks for regular service and four weeks for expedited service. This is not convenient for anyone who will be traveling within that timeframe.

There are other alternatives available and they may be found by doing an Internet search. Private service providers offer replacement passport processing within one to two business days. The paperwork required is essentially the same, with the exception of one or two forms that the private company may require for indemnification purposes. These companies do charge an additional fee over what the government charges, but it is a small price to pay for having a new passport when necessary.

The provider Web sites contain detailed instructions regarding all additional identifying documentation that must be provided. The applicant should print out these instructions and use them as a checklist in order to gather and photocopy the necessary documents. The passport application, which may also be found on the provider sites, should then be completed.

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The identifying documents that are required include a birth certificate from the city, county, or state in which the individual was born. Certified copies that do not contain the entity’s official seal will not be accepted. Therefore, obtaining the proper type of birth certificate is something that must be done prior to being able to get a new passport.

A copy of a driver’s license that was issued at least six months prior must also be provided. Alternatively, there are other forms of identifying documents that may be provided. The criterion for these pieces of identification is that they contain the individual’s signature and photograph. Two documents may be supplied to meet this requirement. There are also additional documents that must be supplied in order to obtain a new passport, so it is important to carefully review the instructions listed on the provider’s Web site in order to get all of the details.

Some of the other information that must be provided includes a travel itinerary or plane ticket. Two identical color photographs must be supplied with the paperwork. These photos must meet certain requirements because they will be used in the passport itself. Again, it is important to check the list of required documents in order to review the specifications for these photos.