Lost Passport – A Travelers Nightmare

Paul Pinkerton

One of the biggest nightmares of travel is losing or getting your Passport stolen while you’re abroad in another country. It leaves you stranded and sometimes helpless and distraught.

Of course, it’s nowhere near as bad as any physical accident and it’s not the end of the world but it can create incredible insecurity.

I’ve been asked this question a few times in the past and as we travel around a bit as part of the Outdoor Revival team it’s worth sharing some advice that we have to refer to in case we’re ever in this predicament when we travel.


The first thing to remember is that you should not panic, panicking will make the situation 10 times worse, at times like this you need to think clearly and logically.


I’m making the assumption that you’ve looked everywhere and you’re confident the passport has been lost or stolen, when you’re at that point you need to focus on replacing your passport, to get back into the US you need a replacement passport.

Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and ask for assistance, they’ll direct you on what needs to be done and what they need from you so they can help.

You can find the nearest Embassy or Consulate here. Ask to speak to the Consular Section to report your passport lost or stolen.

You need to let them know your situation as soon as possible, especially if you’re planning on leaving the country soon. They’ll give you advice on where to get a passport photo which you will likely need before meeting with them.


It’s also worth noting that family or friends can get information for you, although they cannot get a new passport for you, you need to do that in person.


Here’s what you need to replace your passport while overseas:

The following list identifies a number of documents/items you should take with you to the embassy/consulate. Even if you are unable to present all of the documents, the consular staff will do their best to assist you to replace your passport quickly. Please provide:

  • A Passport Photo (one photo is required; get it in advance to speed the process of replacing your passport)
  • Identification (driver’s license, expired passport etc.)
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, photocopy of your missing passport)
  • Travel Itinerary (airline/train tickets)
  • Police Report, if available
  • DS-11 Application for Passport (may be completed at time of application)
  • DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport (may be completed at time of application)

Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport:

When you report the loss or theft of your passport, you must complete a statement describing the circumstances under which it was lost or stolen. You can use the U.S. Department of State form DS-64 for this purpose, or simply execute a sworn statement before the consular officer describing what happened.

Police Report:

A police report is not mandatory but can help confirm the circumstances of the loss or theft. Don’t spend time obtaining a police report if doing so will cause you to miss a flight or delay your travel unreasonably.


It’s worth remembering that most U.S. Embassies and Consulates do not issue passports on weekends or holidays as they’re closed.  They do have out of hours officers but they’re only there for life or death situations so please be patient.

It’s also worth remembering that although you might be inconvenienced  by the loss of your passport you can get it resolved quickly if you follow our guide.

Happy and safe traveling!


If you’ve ever lost or had your Passport stolen we’d love to hear your story or any other travel realted stories you have, let us know about it on our FB page, we’re also happy for article or review submissions , we’d love to hear from you.

We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.


Outdoor revival – Reconnecting you to the Outdoors


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival