Being robbed of your passport is kind of like have a little piece of your soul stolen. Your passport is an important document, but more than that, it’s also a record of all the places you’ve been since you acquired it. So, when somebody steals your passport, not only do you have to worry about things like identity theft, you’re also mourning the loss of that part of your personal history.
Nonetheless, if your passport has been stolen, the important thing is to protect yourself from further damage by reporting the loss and getting it replaced. No matter where you are when your passport is stolen, you should contact the local police and file a report, even if your passport is the only thing that was taken.
The next step in reporting your stolen passport is to contact the Department of State. If you are in the US, this is as easy as calling the National Passport Center at 1-877-487-2778. If you are overseas, you’ll need to report it at the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you travel with a photocopy of the biographical pages of your passport stored separately, or store a copy in a secure place online, you’ll find the process of getting a new passport overseas to be much simpler.
To replace a stolen passport in the US, go to post office or another passport acceptance facility to apply for a new one. Bring your driver’s license or other proof of identity and your birth certificate or other proof of citizenship, along with one passport photo and money to pay the required fees. At the passport facility, you’ll fill out passport application form DS-11 and form DS-64, a formal statement regarding a lost or stolen passport. Under normal circumstances it takes about six weeks for the government to issue a replacement, but you can cut that down to three weeks if you pay a $ 60 expedite fee.
For emergency replacement of a stolen passport in the US, make an appointment at the nearest regional passport agency office by calling the National Passport Center at 1-877-487-2778. Only take this step if you are leaving the country within the next 14 days or you must have your passport to apply for an entry visa for travel within the next four weeks.
Once you’ve reported your passport stolen, it will be invalidated for future travel, so even if it is recovered, you must replace it. However, even with these safeguards, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your credit report for the next few months, just to be on the safe side.
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.