I have lost my passport twice when traveling. The first time, I was in Paris getting on the Metro (subway) when somehow I dropped my passport between the platform and the train. I hopped off to stay behind and saw my passport hanging out on the tracks below. To my luck, there was a tall American traveler from the University of Dayton who offered to jump down and get it for me. He was brave (and maybe a little stupid). The second time was my fault, I was eating in NYC before taking a trip 3 month trip to backpack Europe, and I forgot my purse on the back of the chair only to realize 6 hours later that I didn’t have it. Thankfully when I called the restaurant, they had my purse and when I picked it up nothing was stolen. Crisis averted. Even though I have had good luck in the passport area, those experiences taught me that I needed to know what to do in case I was in a situation where I was not so lucky, and couldn’t get my passport back.
- Look through all of your stuff and make sure that you didn’t just misplace it somewhere
- If it is really gone, retrace your steps, call the places you were and try to find it
- Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate and let them know – make sure to tell them if you are traveling and need it soon. Find it here: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
- Follow the instructions that they give you – they will need you to fill out some forms, bring money for the replacement ($140) and likely tell you to bring your travel itinerary, some type of ID, and maybe some new passport photos
- If traveling immediately, you’ll be issued an emergency passport that will only get you back to the US. Otherwise, it will take a few days (depending on where you are).
When I travel internationally, I always bring a photocopy of my drivers license and passport and keep it in my luggage, just in case I lose my passport and need a replacement. You could also scan it and email it to yourself so that you don’t have a paper to lose. It can make getting a new passport at the embassy a lot easier.
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