It is estimated that over hundreds of thousands of travelers around the world lose their passports each year according to official records.
If yours has gone missing, follow our guide below to learn which steps to take to ensure you can replace your passport quickly.
What Happens If you Lose Your Passport?
The most obvious problem caused by losing your passport is that you will not be able to travel abroad. Alternatively, if you are already overseas, you will not be able to board transportation to get home.
A passport is an essential document that you will need to be allowed to travel internationally. If yours is lost or stolen you will need to report it missing and take steps to replace it immediately.
Why to Report a Passport Lost or Stolen Quickly
If you find that your passport has been lost or stolen you must report it to the authorities straight away.
A passport is a government issued ID. It can therefore be used by criminal networks to either steal your identity or facilitate other illegal activity.
By alerting the authorities quickly, you will be able to ensure that someone else cannot use your passport illegally.
What Should You Do If You Lose Your Passport?
If your passport has been lost or stolen in your home country, follow these steps:
- Inform your local passport issuing agency of the loss
- Apply for a replacement passport immediately
- Submit the correct ID required by your issuing authority
- Pay the application fees associated tor a new passport
You should take action as soon as you find that your passport is missing. Getting a new passport can take between 3 to 6 weeks or longer, depending on how fast your national passport authority is at processing new documents.
If you need to travel urgently while your new passport is being processed, you could be delayed from doing so. However, it is usually possible to pay an additional fee to your national issuing authority to expedite the process and get your passport sooner.
What To Do If You Lose Your Passport Abroad?
Losing your passport in another country can be stressful. However, it is possible to get help from your home country to make sure you get home safely and do not miss any flights.
If you lose your passport in a foreign country you must:
- Contact your national embassy or consulate in the country you are in
- If your passport was stolen, get a police report for the robbery
- Provide 1-2 recent passport-sized photos
- Prove your identity with any relevant documents or photo ID such as a driver’s license
- Fill in an application form for a new passport or emergency travel document
- Pay the required application fees
Depending on your nationality and the country you are in, you will either be issued with a new passport or an emergency travel document, also known as ‘emergency passport’. This will allow you to get back to your home country safely and in time.
If you are given a temporary travel document instead of a brand-new passport you can use it for the return journey to your home country. Once you have returned, you should replace your original passport as soon as possible.
What Happens to Any Approved Visas if I Lose My Passport?
If your passport contained any visas or was used to register for any online visas or visa waivers, you will also have to replace these travel authorizations.
This is because your passport number will change when a new document is issued. This, in turn, will invalidate any visas or visa waivers that you previously had approved.
You must use the same passport you used to get your visa or eVisa to enter the foreign country that issued it. This means that if you lose your passport you must also reapply for travel authorization, too.