American passports are a hot commodity, making them a target for thieves. It is also possible to lose one through simple carelessness. Both can be an especially serious problem in remote, rural areas, which are the settings for most outdoor adventures abroad. Reporting and replacing a lost or stolen passport is a serious matter, but a relatively straightforward one.
Make a Report
If you are abroad, call or go in person to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and notify the American Citizens Services section. If you are in the U.S., call (877) 487-2778.
The information you need to start the process of getting a replacement passport issued includes your date of birth, place of birth, old passport number and the old passport's place of issue. It is a good idea to keep your passport number written down or a photocopy of the passport identification page elsewhere for this reason.
You must fill out form DS-64 and/or swear an affadavit regard the loss or theft of your passport. A police report is not required to do this.
Verification and Proof
The Embassy staff will verify your U.S. citizenship by reviewing government records. They will also take steps to positively identify you, just to be sure you are who you say you are.
You will probably be required to pay the same fee as a passport renewal, which in 2009 was $75. Only in cases of extreme financial hardship while abroad will this fee be waived.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.