If you are organizing an elaborate vacation with lots of traveling and moving around, don’t forget to take some important steps to prepare yourself in case some sort of accident occurs and you end up with a lost pass port. Whether you lose your passport during the scuffle of packing or you get pick-pocketed while you are getting on and off of trains in Europe, you should be prepared by informing yourself ahead of time, about the process of getting a new passport.

If you have lost your US passport documents while still in the United States, then you are one of the lucky ones. Dealing with any sort of passport mishap is always easier on U.S. soil. All you have to do is fill out a form and send it to the Department of State. This form can be found online at the official website of the U.S. Department of State.

If you are one of the unlucky ones who have their passport stolen while you are abroad, you must immediately report it to the local authorities. If you have misplaced your passport while abroad, go directly to a nearby U.S. Embassy and speak to someone who can help you. Make sure to bring all relevant documents regarding future travel plans so the Embassy knows how soon you will need the replacement travel document.

The Embassy will not be able to give you a permanent passport. After September 11th, 2001, the United States got much stricter on its policy for Embassies outside of the U.S. issuing permanent passports. But do not worry as you can receive a temporary version if you fill out an application and pay the fees. Once in the United States, you will have to go through the application process again to get your permanent passport.

The Embassy will ask for proof of identity. If you had your wallet stolen with all of your ID cards, credit cards, and passport, they have other ways of checking your identity but it is more time consuming. This is why it is always recommended that you photo copy everything before leaving on your trip and keep them separated while traveling. That way, if your backpack is stolen with your passport in it, you still have a photocopy of it hidden in your toiletries bag.

If you have already left on your trip and cannot find a copy machine anywhere, write down all of your ID information with important numbers and dates on a clean piece of paper. Knowing your passport number will help to expedite the temporary passport application process.

Have someone trustworthy from home agree to pay for passport fees in the event that something happens with your documents. You could have your money stolen as well. Think of these things ahead of time and make preparations.

If you end up with a lost pass port, you won’t be trapped in a foreign country with no way out. However, the more you prepare ahead of time, the easier the process will be. Don’t panic if you lose your U.S. passport documents but make sure you act quickly to recover it.

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