I lost my passport…and got a new one in less than a DAY. Here’s how.
The “Emily, now don’t lose this one” jokes are getting old! I’m almost positive I didn’t lose the first one – it was STOLEN from me!!!
Backstory: It was the day before my flight back to Japan. I went to check in and was about to add my passport details, but PASSPORT NOT TO BE FOUND. Needless to say, we flipped our house upside down looking for it. How could it be gone – I had just returned from Japan not even a week ago?! I was freaking out – I didn’t know exactly what it would mean if I had lost my passport, I just knew people are always like, “It’s a very important document. Do NOT lose your passport.” What now??
Long story short, I had to send the big boss an embarrassing text message that I may have lost my passport…”won’t be able to make my flight.” Caleb (see him here!) texted me and said he already booked me an appointment at the passport agency for a new passport (very much appreciated (,: amidst my freakout lol).
If you’ve lost your passport and need a new one ASAP (aka your flight is tomorrow!!) – first, take a deep breath. It happens to people all the time. Second, know that you can get a new one soon – Read ahead for more info!
1) File a Lost Passport Report
A passport is an identification document and can be used by dishonest people to do a lot of damage to you. You should definitely report the passport lost as soon as possible.
I printed the DS-64 Form and filled it out to bring to my passport agency in person. I recommend to submit it online to immediately void your passport.*
*I kind of delayed this process because I was hoping I could find my passport before my flight. If I had reported the passport lost, then my passport would be null and I would not be able to board my flight the next day with the same passport if I later found it. Passports become invalid once you’ve reported it as lost.
2) Fix your Travel Ish
Then, call your travel agency and take care of all of your possibly missed upcoming travel plans lol:
- Flight change policies, penalty fees, and the next available flights*
- Hotel/Apartment cancellation policies, next available accommodations
- Car Rental cancellation policies
- If you are on business travel, tell your boss 🙂
*RISK: Before booking your next flight, keep in mind that you might not be able to get your new passport expedited as soon as the website states. It is not a guaranteed service and instead depends on how busy the passport agency is that day. Buuuuut, I would say that if you have urgent enough reasons to go, they will almost always be able to process it within the same day.
And as for point #4, don’t sweat it. Yes, it might be a little embarrassing and maybe you will miss out on face-to-face work days, but probably your boss is just thinking “OMG I feel so bad he/she lost her passport” lol.
3) Apply for New, Expedited Passport
- Make an appointment at your Local Passport Agency (i.e. LA Passport Agency), some agencies do NOT accept walk-ins
- Compile and Fill Out Papers
- Appointment Confirmation
- Lost Passport Form – DS-64 (if you haven’t already reported it lost)
- New Passport Form – DS-11
- Passport Photo (you can take them at a Fedex, CVS, Postal Annex)
- Printed Proof of Travel – This is required, basically they want to see proof that you have to fly out internationally within the week (the more proof, the better, i.e. Flight Booking)
- Payment Form
4) Go Get Your New Passport!
Give yourself plenty of time before your passport appointment. Passport agencies are normally in downtown so getting lost is almost certain and parking is nonexistent! And you’ll have to go through security.
I had gotten there just about when it opened and there was already >20 people in there! The first employee will check if you are even ready for your appointment (so make sure you read the website and have everything!!), then (if you have everything) he/she will give you a ticket number.
When your ticket number is called, a new person will review your printed proof and will question you on why you need to fly out ASAP. Based on your reasoning, it seems they do two batches: 1) one batch of expedited passports in the morning/noon and 2) one batch in the afternoon. Since I had cancelled my flight but hadn’t yet booked my new flight, I was OK with getting mine in the afternoon.
And that’s it! I went to passport agency at around 8AM and by 3PM my new passport was in my hands. It cost me the price of the passport and an expedition fee. It totaled upwards of $200 for passport plus ~$150 flight change fee (oof, but necessary).
I am sad that I lost all of my old passport stamps! So many good ones – first international trip to Colombia with Michael’s family, several India stamps, Taiwan, Maldives, Thailand, Nepal, Japan.
But! Now I have a brand new passport with tons of empty pages to be filled with more travel and memories 🙂
If it is a weekend, unfortunately the government offices are closed. But, there are online expedited passport services (and maybe third party people in your city) who will perform the same, but it likely will cost more. Some can do it within a few hours (granted they aren’t yet closed) or at least overnight. Be sure to research the vendor beforehand to make sure they’re legit.
Please also do your own research with your country’s passport laws 🙂
Photo Credit: Unknown