Replacing A Lost US Passport
A lost US passport can be very stressful but it need not be the end of the world. Losing it a day or so before you are due to travel is a pain and it is even worse if you are already out of the country. The good news is obtaining a replacement is fairly straightforward. Before you report it to the authorities, be very sure that it is irretrievable because once it has been inactivated, it cannot be reinstated.
Inform The US State Department
The first thing you need to do is inform the State Department. If you are within the United States of America, this is in Washington, D. C. If you are already abroad, inform the closest US Consulate or Embassy. Do this immediately before it falls into unsafe hands and is used illegitimately.
You may report the loss over the telephone or by filling in, signing and sending in Form DS-64. The form may be found on the Internet on the American State Department web site. If you find a US passport belonging to someone else, simply send it to the State Department in Washington D. C. in a sturdy envelope.
If You Find It
If your missing passport turns up after you have reported that it has been either lost or stolen, send it to the State Department. If you wish, they will cancel it and return it to you. Otherwise, they will destroy it.
The next step is to apply for a new one. If you are in the USA and not in a hurry to travel, you can do this in person at either a Passport Agency or an Acceptance Facility. There are twenty-six agencies and a vast number of Acceptance facilities (these may be specially designated clerks of the court, post offices, public libraries and other government facilities).
The application form is called a DS-11. You will also need to bring your DS-64, proof of United States citizenship, two photographs and proof of identity. There will also be a fee. The specifications for the pictures are very exact so make sure you mention to the photographer why you are having them made.
Getting a replacement if you have imminent plans to travel or if you are already out of the country is only slightly more complicated. There are a number of private organizations that are happy to take on the stress for you. They offer different levels of service depending on the time scale involved and they are priced accordingly.