Lost or Stolen Passports Abroad

No one can travel internationally using only a U.S. passport number. Travelers must present an original, physical version of a U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card upon entering a foreign country and when returning to the United States from a foreign country.

The U.S. passport book and passport card are highly secure documents with numerous security features designed to prevent successful counterfeiting.

We do not recommend reporting your U.S. passport lost or stolen if your passport number was compromised. You should only report your U.S. passport lost or stolen if the original, physical version of the passport book or passport card has been lost or stolenOnce you report a U.S. passport lost or stolen, it is invalid and cannot be used for international travel.

What Should a U.S. Citizen Do if his/her Passport is Lost or Stolen Abroad?

You will have to replace the passport before returning to the United States. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. Ask to speak to the Consular Section to report your passport lost or stolen. If you have been the victim of a serious crime, be sure to tell a consular officer about it as soon as possible so we can provide appropriate assistance. If you are scheduled to leave the foreign country shortly, please provide our consular staff with the details of your travel. We will make every effort to assist you quickly. You will also be directed to where you can obtain a photo for your replacement passport.  In most cases, you will need to get a passport photo prior to your arrival at the consular section.

If you are notified by a relative or friend traveling abroad that his/her U.S. passport has been lost/stolen, you may wish to contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C, at 1-888-407-4747. That office will be able to help you put your friend or loved one in touch with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. Your relative/friend must apply in person for a new passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

What Do I Need to Replace my Passport 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 the time of application)
  • DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport (may be completed at the 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.

Police Report:

A police report is not mandatory but can help confirm the circumstances of the loss or theft.  We encourage you to report the loss or theft of your U.S. passport to the local police in the country where the loss or theft occurred. However, don’t spend time obtaining a police report if doing so will cause you to miss a flight or delay your travel unreasonably.

How Long is a Replacement Passport Valid?

Replacement passports are normally valid for a full ten years for adults or five years for minors. However, if you have urgent travel plans, we can issue a limited-validity, emergency passport that can be produced more quickly to allow you to return to the U.S. or continue on your trip. Once you return home, you can turn in your emergency passport and receive a full-validity passport.

Other complicating factors, such as multiple lost/stolen passports or borrowing money from the State Department to fund your trip home, may cause you to receive a limited passport. If you received a limited passport because of multiple lost/stolen passports or an outstanding loan, you will need to resolve those issues with the State Department before you can be issued a new passport.

Are Fees Charged to Replace Lost/Stolen Passports Abroad?

The normal passport fees are collected from applicants for replacement passports. Applicants unable to pay the fee will be asked to provide names of persons they feel would be able to assist them financially. See our information about Financial Assistance to U.S. citizens Abroad and Sending Money Overseas to U.S. Citizen in an Emergency.

However, in certain extraordinary circumstances, such as:

  • the applicant is the victim of a serious crime, or
  • the applicant is a victim of a disaster;
  • and the applicant does not have and cannot reasonably be expected to obtain money to pay the fees before continuing travel, the passport fee may be waived and a limited-validity passport will be issued.  When the person applies for a full-validity passport upon their return to the United States, the regular passport fee will be charged for the replacement passport.

Can the U.S. Embassy Issue a Replacement Passport on a Weekend or Holiday?

Most U.S. embassies and consulates cannot issue passports on weekends or holidays when the embassy/consulate is closed. All U.S. embassies and consulates have after-hours duty officers available to assist with life or death emergencies of U.S. citizens abroad. Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate after-hours duty officer for assistance if you have an emergency need to travel or have been the victim of a serious crime.

Duty officers must focus primary attention on life or death emergencies. In most cases, except for serious emergencies, a replacement passport will not be issued until the next business day.

Source: U.S. Department of State: travel.state.gov

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