You’re having a great time on your vacation – until you realize your wallet and photo ID is missing. Did you leave it somewhere? Was it stolen? How are you going to be able to get on the plan without a valid ID? Don’t panic, you’ll be able to get home. You just need to know what to do.
If you’re in the US plan on getting to the airport early, at least 2 hours before your flight. Get in line and inform the agent you do not have an id. You will be asked to fill out a form that includes your name, and address. Most likely you will be asked additional questions to confirm your identity using publicly available databases. This is not the time to crack jokes or be cranky.
If you are traveling abroad, the first thing you should do is contact the local police. This establishes a record, and will provide the proof you need for credit card companies and insurance claims. It will be helpful if someone attempts to use your passport illegally.
Next, contact the closest US Consulate or Embassy – you’ll need a replacement passport to return to the US. Let them know what happened and when you are traveling. You may have to have a photo taken before visiting the Consulate.
If you really want to be prepared in case of passport theft, make a color copy of the photo page of your passport and take an extra photo with you when you travel. Just be sure not to carry it in your wallet or purse.