Replacing a Passport while Abroad

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Nobody wants to lose any possessions while on vacation, especially if that item is the document that will let you return home. Unfortunately, many travelers misplace their passport while vacationing abroad. If you lose yours, take the following steps to get a replacement issued as quickly as possible.

– Contact the closest U.S. consulate or embassy. Before you leave on a trip abroad, check the Department of State website at travel.state.gov to find the locations of U.S. embassies and consulates in the country you’re traveling to and how you can contact them. Keep that information with you while you’re traveling, preferably somewhere separate from your passport. When you contact the embassy or consulate, give the staff your travel details so they can try to get your passport to you before you must leave.

– Gather the documents you need to get a new passport. You can find a list of them online at travel.state.gov. They include evidence of citizenship, such as a photocopy of your passport or birth certificate; a passport-size photo; identification such as a driver’s license; your travel itinerary, including airline tickets; and official forms that are available on the Department of State website and at the embassy. Before your trip, make copies of your evidence of citizenship and identification to bring with you. Leave other copies and the originals with someone at home who can send them to you in an emergency.

– Avoid trying to apply on a holiday. Consulate and embassy staff cannot issue replacement passports during holidays.

– Bring the above documents and the normal passport fee to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. In most cases, you will be issued a new passport with full validity. If you run into problems, you may still be able to obtain a limited-validity emergency passport that will get you home.

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