What to do if your passport is lost or stolen

What should you do if your passport is lost or stolen?

First, you are going to contact the police for a police report. If your not traveling between destinations, the front desk of your hostel, or guest house should be able to help you through this first step as many of them have dealt with the issue before.

Second, you will go to your countries consulate or embassy with the police report. Here they will be able to help you deactivate your old passport (using a DS-64 form for US citizens, which can be googled). You will be asked several questions in regards to the possible whereabouts of the passport, to if you have lost or had your passport stolen before. Note: Once your passport has been deactivated, it cannot be reactivated.

Third, you will apply for a new passport at your embassy or consulate. They will issue you a new passport (using a DS-64 form for US citizens, which can be googled).

Tips to prepare for a lost or stolen passport:

  • Make copies of your passport and keep a copy in your backpack and day bag.
  • Take your drivers license as a backup id for easier identification at your consulate.
  • Scan copies of passport and email a copy to yourself. This way you will just need access to a computer print for the embassy.

Applying for visa with an online visa and passport processing agency

I’ve been looking at different online travel agencies to help me get my visa for Vietnam (my first destination).  I used http://www.traveldocs.com/ when  I was on Semester at Sea with University of Virgina back in 2008, but wanted to see if I could find a better deal somewhere else online.

After about 2.5 hours of research I found that it’s a very competitive business and they have a good price in comparison with their competitors. Also, when I visited some other sites I was warned of visa scams which can find you by way of email, post, over the phone, or on a website. Scammer watch site explains one example in Australia: http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/805700

I was able to call traveldocs.com and talk to a representative today (8/21). I feel very comfortable with them and they give an exact time frame of when you will have your visa.