What to Do If You Lost Your Passport or ID While Traveling


The chance of having a passport lost or stolen while traveling is the reason why travelers should always keep a photocopy or digital picture of their passport so they can prove US citizenship.

Here’s what to do if you lose your passport or identification while traveling. But first, let’s view the types of valid identification for travel at the airport check-in.

Travel Identification

Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

For information on REAL ID, please visit DHS frequently asked questions.

Forgot Your ID?

Arrive at the airport as early as possible. Passengers traveling without a form of identification will have to go through interviews with TSA officers to establish their identity and airlines will not refund tickets for people who missed their flights due to a lost ID.

According to TSA.gov In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You may be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.

You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.

TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.

If your identity cannot be verified, you will not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint.



What to Do If You Lost Your Passport While Inside of Another Country?

  1. Find the nearest US Embassy or consulate.  Websites of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions www.usembassy.gov
  2. If your Passport is stolen, file a police report.
  3. Take a new Passport photo before heading to the U.S. Embassy. It will help speed up the process.
  4. Along with taking a new passport photo, there are two forms that you’ll need to fill out either before going to the consulate or embassy or while you’re there. One is a standard application for a US passport and one is a statement regarding a lost or stolen passport, which will ensure your passport is invalidated, preventing anyone else from being able to use it.
  5. You’ll need a to bring a few documents with you to the nearest US Embassy or consulate in order to receive your replacement passport:
    • Your new passport photo
    • Some type of identification such as a driver’s license
    • Some type of travel itinerary (airplane or train ticket)
    • Evidence of US citizenship (a birth certificate or photocopy of your missing passport)
    • Your application for a passport and statement regarding your lost or stolen passport if you’ve filled those forms out
  6.  you’ll be expected to pay the normal passport fee — $140 — for your replacement passport. If you can’t afford the fee, you’ll have the opportunity to name someone who can pay the fee.
  7.  If you have almost immediate travel plans back to the US, you’ll be issued an emergency passport that will come in 24 hours and will only get you back to the US — you’ll have to get a full-validity passport once you’re back home. Otherwise, it can take a few days to get a new passport depending on the country you’re in since it’ll have to be shipped from the US.

If you are notified by a relative or friend traveling abroad that his/her U.S. passport has been lost/stolen, you may wish to contact the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C, at 1-888-407-4747. That office will be able to help you put your friend or loved one in touch with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate. Your relative/friend must apply in person for a new passport at the U.S. embassy or consulate.

For more information please visit: https://ca.usembassy.gov

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Program Benefits:

  • Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

To register, please visit: https://step.state.gov/step

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you found this information useful. Be sure to share!

Have questions? Would you like help with your travel plans? Contact me anytime!


Certified Travel Consultant


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s