Having a passport stolen or misplacing one can be a scary issue for many people, especially when they’re in the midst of traveling or very close to doing so. While some tend to be confused about the process of getting a misplaced or stolen United States passport replacement, others may simply not know where to start. There are a few steps that you can take to insure that the process goes smoothly. There are also some documents you may want to travel with in case you need them for an unexpected need for a replacement passport.
Providing that you took the steps to ensure that the passport was truly lost or stolen, the first step in handling the situation is to report it to the proper authorities. This means filling out the right forms and also contacting the local police and potentially contacting your particular embassy. However, much of this is obviously dependent on your location.
Obtaining two passport photographs is often suggested, if not required, in some situations. However, it’s often a good thing to check with the authorities to see what’s required in your particular situation or country. Photographs can be obtained through services that specialize in passport photos such as mail facilities and convenience stores but you may also be able to get referrals from the authorities that you will be dealing with.
A good rule of thumb is to check out your embassy’s policies for lost or stolen passports since many vary on what is required and may be dependent on whether or not you’re currently within your home country or outside of it. Most embassies have contact information available online, often with instructions on what steps to take or what forms to have ready ahead of time.
Knowing what forms you will need to fill out is important but is often something that many individuals tend to forget. Therefore, it’s important to know in advance what forms you need to fill out and when to fill them out. In some cases, such as with the US DS-11 form, the form should only be signed at a passport agency.
You’ll also want to research any type of documentation that you’ll need at the time you go to get a replacement. Some countries may require or ask for the original documentation of when the passport was issue. Common papers that may required will include photo identification such as a driver’s license and a birth certificate. It’s also important to make sure that you have these basic documents with you whenever you’re traveling in order to protect yourself in the event of losing your passport.
Several things that you may also want to watch out for are fees and the sizing of your photographs for the passport itself. Certain sized photos are required in order to get a passport and while most services will be aware of the required sizing, it’s still a good idea to check what the size should be ahead of time in order to be on the safe side. The fees for the processing of your United States passport form will also apply when getting a replacement, so you’ll want to ensure that you have enough money in order to avoid any unnecessary complications.
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