3. File a police report
Whether your passport was lost or stolen, you need to report the situation to the local police. Having a police report to show staffers at your embassy or consulate makes it easier for them to cancel your current passport and issue you your new paperwork. Whether or not the police find your passport or the thief is another matter entirely. Ask at your hotel for information on the nearest police station.
4. Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate
Do this before you go to the police so that you can get the ball rolling simultaneously with both local and U.S. authorities. After getting a copy of the police report, make an appointment with the embassy or consulate to get your new documentation, which must be done in person. You’ll be issued a new passport or an emergency passport valid only for the amount of time required for you to return to the United States. Note that you can pay the processing fees with cash or credit cards, but not checks.
5. Apply for a new passport
If you were issued a temporary passport while abroad, you’ll need to apply for a new passport once you’re back home. Forms and information are available on the U.S. Department of State website. If you misplace your passport when at home, report the loss by calling 1-877-487-2778 toll-free or by mailing a completed “Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport” form. You must apply for your new passport in person at a passport office or designated post office. Note that once you report a stolen or lost passport to the U.S. government, that passport is immediately invalidated. Even if you find the passport the next day, you cannot use it, and you must apply for a new one. Should you find the previously lost passport, submit it to the State Department for cancellation.
The State Department takes between four and six weeks to process your passport application. However, you can apply for expedited service to receive your new passport within two to three weeks. If you need your new passport sooner, you can hire a private passport service to push your application through in as little as 24 hours. Two well-established companies are AmericanPassport.com and Fastport Passport.
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