Category: Passport

How to Find My Passport Number

There are many reasons why you should know your passport number. We tend to tuck it away after receiving it and only take it out to travel. Well, here are some reasons why you should document the number and safeguard it.

Where to Look for Your Passport Number

If you recently got your passport, you should retrieve it to get the number. When you do, look inside, and on the first page, you will see your personal information. Your name, date, and place of birth, and your address. Below that information and at the bottom of the page, you will see a series of numbers. The numbers represent your passport number. It is best to photocopy this page and keep it in a safe place. If you can, scan it and email it to yourself. This way, you can access it whenever you need to.

Lost or Stolen Passport

If you lose your passport while traveling outside the country, the first thing to do is report it immediately. You can report your missing passport to the State Depart by phone, on the website, or by mail. You may visit the nearest consulate or embassy in the country you are visiting.

For anyone who is the country and will not travel soon, apply for a replacement at an acceptance facility. If you have an emergency and must go within 24 hours, hire a private expeditor or visit a regional agency for same day service.

Other ways to get Your Passport Number

If you lose your passport before recording the number, you may be able to get the number in different ways. Here are some options to get the number:

  • If you recently book a flight or still have your previous flight information, you may have your passport information on the flight itinerary. If you can retrieve an old email, you are just in look to get your passport number. If you are a frequent flyer; you can also get the number from that information.
  • If your job requires you to travel frequently, the person who books your flight may have a copy of your passport. Ask the person, he or she might surprise you with it.
  • You can order a copy of your passport record from the U.S. Passport Service. You may request the information by mail and provide your full birth name, legal name changes, birthday and city, telephone number, mailing address, email address, and the estimated date the passport was issued. You will pay $50 for a certified copy.

How to Apply for a Lost or Stolen Passport

You can apply for a lost or stolen passport by completing Form DS-64 and DS-11. Also, submit the supporting documents with the forms and pay the fee. Apply to any acceptance facility for the replacement passport. If you are in a rush and will travel soon, hire an expeditor or go to a regional agency for same day service. The cost will be more significant if you hire a private expeditor or going to a regional agency than if you go to the local acceptance facilities.

How Do I Get Rid of My Old Passport?

If you are one of many Americans who has a passport or two laying around the house, you should store it in a safe place or get rid of it. Some may prefer to hold on to it as a remembrance of all the fun trips taken in the past. Others may keep it because it was the first document they had in their name or for other personal reasons. If one or all of these choices you can relate to, then this article is not for you. In other words, if you want to get rid of an old passport, keep reading on how to get rid of your old passport.

What to do with an Old Passport

A passport is an important document that is used for identification purpose when traveling outside the U.S. If you lose it during a trip, the first thing you must do is report it lost or stolen. Similarly, if you misplace it at home, you must report it lost to get a replacement passport. However, if you have an old passport and want to get rid of it, there are different ways to destroy the expired document.

Ways to Destroy an Old Passport

As previously mentioned, a passport is an important document, and you do not want some else to get a hold of it and steal your identity. Identity theft is a common crime, and it can destroy someone’s character very quickly. So, if you have a paper shredder at home, you can use it to shred your passport. Once you do this, take the small pieces and dispose of them in different garbage containers in your house. Doing so will make it difficult for anyone who goes through your trash to put them back together.

Another option to destroy your passport is to burn it. To burn it, rip the pages apart and make a pile. Put the papers in a safe environment like a metal container or a fireplace, if you have one, and light it. Be present for it to complete and do not leave it unattended. Once it is over, you have safely disposed of your passport. If you know of another way, that is safe to do; you can get rid of your document so that no other person can get a hold of it.

Now that you have options to destroy your passport do so to avoid the worry of where it is, or it getting into the hands of some else. It will be one thing less to worry about, and now you can focus your time on your upcoming trip or having peace of mind of knowing where your passport should be.

Can I Travel With a Passport That Will Expire in a Month or Less?

You should have a passport to travel outside the U.S. whether you are a frequent flyer or not. Most countries require a passport to enter and exit their borders. For other countries that do not, you can use a state-issued photo ID or other acceptable forms like a birth certificate or a government-issued photo ID. Once you have a passport, the first thing to take note of is the expiration date. An adult passport is valid for ten years and a minor for five years. With this in mind, we will answer your question if you can travel with a passport that will expire in a month or less.

Travel With a Passport Abroad

If you go to a country that requires a passport, first you must inquire if the six-month passport validity rule is needed. What is the six-month passport validity rule? By law, countries that implement this rule need anyone to enter or exit to have a passport with six months or more validity. That means your passport cannot expire during the time you will be in the country you are visiting. If your passport should expire during your trip, you cannot enter.

However, there are a few countries that require three months validity. So, if your passport has three months or more validity before it expires, you will have permission to enter the country. There are fewer countries with the three-month validity rule than there are on the six-month. Aside from these two rules, some countries within the region will accept a state-issued photo ID for entry. Countries like Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean will allow a photo ID. Other countries that are U.S. territories will also take a valid photo ID.

A Passport with a Month or Less Validity

To travel with a passport with one month or less validity is not a good idea. With traveling comes uncertainty. You do not want to be stuck in a country because of an emergency and cannot leave on your terms. As soon as your passport is near six months before it expires, you should start the passport renewal process.

To renew your passport, you must complete and submit Form DS-82 along with your current passport. Some people may say I prefer to wait a month or two before starting the process. To get a new passport, the average time it takes is 4 to 8 weeks or one to two months. The regular processing time will cost the cheapest. If you need a passport in a rush or sooner than a month, you can expedite your application, but the price will be substantial in comparison to the normal process.

So, to avoid getting stopped by immigration at an airport far away from home because of your passport, make sure your passport has more than six months validity. If it doesn’t, get a new one to avoid any setbacks you could have prevented when you are going to take a trip outside the U.S.

What to Do in Case Your Passport Got Lost, Stolen, or Damaged

It is a privilege for anyone to own a passport. Likewise, it is the bearer of the passport to keep it in a safe place to prevent it from being lost, stolen, or from getting damage. We all know that some things are beyond our control and when something happens with your passport, you must report it to the right authorities. So, who should you tell that your passport went missing or got damage and now you want to get a new one?

You Lost Your Passport

You have a trip coming up, and now you decide to look for your passport to make sure it is still valid. However, you are looking in the past place you usually keep it and cannot find it. You sit back, think of the last time you used it and start looking in other places again. Now panic starting settling in. It has been a while since you travel outside the country, so you know it is in the house but where? Well, no need to continue to panic.

You can report your passport lost to the State Department by completing a form and re-apply for a new one. The form to complete is DS-64 which can be found here. You have the option to complete the form online or print and complete it manually. You must also complete Form DS-11 and submit both forms. Along with the forms, including any supporting documents stated on the instructional section of Form DS-64.

Your Passport Got Stolen

For anyone whose passport got stolen, you must report it to the police to get a police report. Regardless if you are in a foreign country, you must report it to the nearest police station. The document given by the police can be used as evidence to get an emergency passport at the U.S Embassy or Consulate so you can return to the U.S.  Along with the proof of your passport stolen, you must complete Form DS-64 and also Form DS-11. Even though your document was taken, you are still responsible for the cost of your new passport.

You can obtain a copy of Form DS-11 here. Other supporting documents that must accompany the application must be submitted at the time you apply for the new passport. It includes proof of citizenship, identity, and passport size photo.

Your Passport Got Damaged

Natural disasters seem to be occurring more frequently. Flooding caused by widespread rain or hurricane hitting the east coast regularly leave people to worry about their lives and less about material things. So, if your document got damaged by water or fire and is still in your possession, you can re-apply to get a new passport.

To apply for a new passport if your current passport was damaged and you still have it, you must complete Form DS-11 and submit your damaged passport with this form. You must send a passport size photo and pay the cost of the passport.

Overall

Once you have met the entire requirement set forth by the State Department based on a lost, stolen, or damaged passport, you will get a replacement. If you do not, you may receive a list containing any missing document necessary to proceed with the process. It is best to read the instructional guide provided on each form before you complete and submit the form. Doing so will help to prevent a delay with the document processing and increase the time it will take for you to get a new passport. Also, keep in mind that regardless if you unintentionally damaged, lost or got your passport stolen, you will be responsible for the cost to get a new one. The forms you used to replace a passport will be the same ones to replace a U.S. Passport card.