We all know that during vacations, very little goes as planned. And when you’re one of the unfortunate few who are faced with missing or stolen U S passports, it’s easy to panic. However, there are things you can do in order to ensure that you obtain a new one as quickly as possible so you can continue enjoying your vacation or so you can return home with as little delay as possible.
First, relax. It’s easy to get panicked when you realize you can’t find your passport. Anyone would. However, panicking will not help you. So relax and take a deep breath. There is a solution.
Once you’ve gathered your thoughts, contact the closest US embassy. Do not wait on this. Passports provide criminals with way too many opportunities, meaning you could be in serious danger. A passport is a key tool of identity theft, and with this problem growing every year, you could become just another victim. With your passport in someone else’s hands, you will need to act fast.
Once you have contacted the embassy, ask to speak with someone from the American Citizens Service department of the Consular Section. First, they will immediately invalidate your missing or stolen passport. They will then tell you exactly what you will need to do, including how to get your new passport application forms and photos.
The next thing you can do is contact the local authorities if your passport was stolen. They will file an additional report. This report will be used to take legal action as well as for helping the United States embassy file a report for your stolen passport.
Be sure to supply all the necessary information to the embassy in order to confirm your identity. You will need to provide your name, place and date of birth, when and where you were issued your passport, and also the passport number. Make sure to have this data in a secure place, as having it ready beforehand expedites your request and ultimately grants peace of mind. Also make sure someone in the United States knows that your passport has been stolen. Notifying them of any possible delays is always a good thing, and they might also be contacted in order to verify your identity.
In order to protect your passport, along with your money and other important items, you might think about investing in a little purse or a money belt to wear beneath your clothes. Thieves who are looking to commit a crime will most likely target those who have their passport within reach. So by keeping yours hidden, you drastically reduce the risk of theft.