This post outlines some facts you may or may not know about lost or stolen passports.
If your U.S. passport is lost or stolen, what is your responsibility?
You may not know this, but it’s your responsibility to let the U.S. Consulate know if your passport is missing. Missing passports – much like lost or stolen credit cards – can be in the wrong hands and cause you a great deal of trouble. As soon as you discover your passport is missing, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.
If you are scheduled to leave a foreign country and have lost your passport, what are your options?
According to the U.S. Department of State’s website, every effort will be made to assist U.S. citizens meet their departure schedule as they return to the U.S. Having the information available, however, can go a long way toward making this true.
What information do you need to provide the Consulate?
You will be asked to provide the following information to assist in verifying your citizenship:
- Personal information – including name, birth date, place of birth, date and place the passport was issued, and the passport number. All of this information is available in your current passport and one of the best ways you can have this information handy is to make a copy of the relevant passport page and keep that with you when you travel. A hard copy is fine, but you can send it to yourself as an e-mail attachment or keep it on your smartphone as well.
- Law enforcement report – noting the loss, theft, or misplacement of your passport to local authorities. A police report is not mandatory, but may be required if the consulate believes a fraud has been perpetrated. If a report is not available, you can execute a sworn statement in the presence of a consular officer and describe what happened.
- Some proof of identity – you will be asked for some proof of identity – perhaps a driver’s license or some other form of identity to prove you are who you say you are. If all your personal documents were stolen with the passport, your identity can be established in a number of ways, but you’ll have to work directly with the consulate to make this happen.