Crime Abroad: Losing Your Passport

Posted on September 9, 2011


Losing your passport abroad can be both frightening and frustrating. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm. This article will give you a step by step explanation of what to do if your passport gets lost or stolen and how to get a new one.


By Lisa Koehler


Before you travel, make sure you have multiple copies of your passport. Always leave one copy with a friend or family member in the U.S. and keep one copy with you (separate from your actual passport). Having a copy really speeds up the replacement process.

  1. The first thing you need to do is find the local U.S. embassy or consulate. A list of U.S. embassies, consulates and foreign missions can be found at
  2. At the embassy, ask to speak with the American Citizens Service department of the Consular Section and tell a representative that a U.S. passport has been lost or stolen. They will then give you instructions to help you get new passport photos and how to complete a new passport application.
  3. If you passport has been stolen, go to the local police department and file a report. This isn’t required, but it can help in the replacement process.
  4. Contact a friend or family member in the U.S. They may need to help you verify your identity.
  5. Give the U.S. consulate or embassy any information they request in order to verify your identity.
  6. Complete an affidavit, or sworn statement, with the embassy describing the situation and how the passport was lost or stolen.

*Once all documents are complete, a replacement passport will be issued.

Before meeting with the consulate, make sure to bring with you:

  • A black pen
  • Your original police report
  • Photo copies of your passport
  • Additional ID such as a birth certificate or driver’s license
  • At least $100 cash
  • Extra passport photos of yourself (Often available for cheap at businesses near the embassies)
  • A copy of your itinerary showing you plan to leave the country
  • An incident report (may be required)


Good to know:

  • Passports are not typically issued during weekends or holidays
  • Reissues will not occur after hours
  • In case of emergency or immediate need, an after-hours consulate officer may be willing to help
  • You must pay the standard passport fee for any replacement passport:
  • Fees may be waived for victims of a disaster or if your money was stolen

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