Passport Replacements – How to Replace a Lost Passport?
Looking for a passport replacement? If your passport is lost or stolen, the first thing you must do is report it to the State Department. This step will help avoid the potential of having your lost passport used by someone who is not authorized to use your passport book or card. Today’s high levels of identity theft make this a critical issue. Once you have reported your passport, and then find the lost passport you will still need to apply for a replacement passport.
There are other reasons for having your passport replaced, such as it being worn out so that the photo is no longer recognizable or if you have run out of pages for marking your travels. You will need the following items to replace your passport:
Required Documents Needed for Passport Replacement
The State Department requires the submission of the form DS-64 for replacement passports to ensure that no individual person has more than one passport, This form is used for replacement of both a passport book and card. The following documents are needed for both routine and emergency passport replacement.
- Complete DS-64 Application Form for Lost or Stolen Passport
- Complete DS-11 Application Form for New U.S. Passport
- Proof of Citizenship.
- U.S. Birth Certificate from State of your Birth. See the aforementioned link for a complete list of acceptable “proof of Citizenship documents.
- Passport Photo (2″ x 2″)
- Conforming to passport photo requirements
- Proof of Identity
- Passport Fee
The process of replacing your passport should take approximately six weeks, although it may take longer. It is important to request a replacement passport as quickly as possible using these steps.
Step 1: Fill Out the Application Form
You will be required to fill out both a DS-64 Application Form for Lost or Stolen Passport as well as a DS-11 Application Form for New U.S Passport.
Make sure these forms are filled out completely and legibly, so you do not delay the processing of your new passport. Your photograph should be stapled to the form in the spot that is designated for the photo. Since the spot is exactly the right size required, make sure your photo matches the box.
Step 2: Gather the Supporting Documents
In order to apply for a passport replacement, you will need to show proof of citizenship, proof of identity and have a 2-inch-by-2-inch photo available. Copies of the documents are acceptable except for the photo, which must be front-facing and in color. Verify the fee you will be required to pay for a replacement and make a check payable to the U.S. State Department.
Once you have filled out the new passport form you will need to visit an acceptance agent in your area to have a federal agent witness your signature on your new passport form.
Step 3: Package & Send Documents
Once you have verified that you have filled out all the forms accurately and have gathered all of the required documents, place them in a sturdy envelope, so they will not be damaged. In most cases, Tyvek brand envelopes are often your best solution, as they are waterproof and sturdy.
The U.S. State Department recommends you send these via certified or registered mail to ensure that they are received by the intended party.
When you are planning to travel
U.S. residents who are planning to travel before they anticipate getting a replacement passport have other options, including:
- Regional passport center – Check with the U.S. State Department to determine if there is a regional passport center in your area. Each of these centers will issue replacement passports by appointment only. Make sure you take all the required documents with you for your appointment, or you will be unable to get a new passport.
- Expediting services -Replacement Passport
As mentioned there are many reasons why you may need to replace your passport. If you need to do so because you are traveling in less than 3 weeks you will want to use what is called expedited services.
There are several ways to take advantage of this service which can get you your passport within 24-48 hours if circumstances warrant that quick turn around.
Expedited replacement passport service is available in any one of the 28 regional passport offices. You can do this in person at a passport acceptance facility or by mail. Typically this takes approximately 3 weeks. If you need a passport very soon you still have many choices including special expedited service which can get you a passport in as little as 24-48 hours. You will be required to pay an additional fee to the U.S. Department of State.
Requesting Expedited Service in Person or by Mail
Proof of your emergency need is required such as an itinerary, travel tickets or official government or court papers requiring the travel. Be sure to include all of the below-mentioned documents as well.
Using an Authorized Passport Acceptance Facility
Expedited service is available at one of the 28 Regional U.S. Department of State Passport Agencies. you must make an appointment at the agency and bring proof of travel in the near future (less than 3 weeks), all extra fees, required application forms, and documents. Proof of travel should clearly indicate the urgency of need.
For a replacement expedited passport be sure to have the following:
- Proof of emergency need
- Application DS-11 filled out but not signed.
- Form DS-64
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Proof of your identity
- Passport photos-adhering to regulations
- All Passport fees
- All Expediting Fees
- Photocopies of IDs
- Signed Letter of Authorization (this is if you are using a third party service to expedite)
Using an Approved Registered Expediting Service
One of the simplest ways to expedite a replacement passport is to use a registered government approved expediting service.
These specialists can assist you with all details of the process. They submit the applications and use bonded couriers to handle delivery. It is possible to have your replacement passport in 24-48 hours.
A complete list of expediting services can be found here
Remember, if your passport is lost or stolen, it should be reported immediately to the State Department to prevent unauthorized use. If you are in need of a replacement because of damage, you should include your damaged passport with your application for replacement.