Lost and stolen passports are a major cause for concern. If you lose your passport or your passport is stolen, you may have trouble during a vacation and you need to go through the expense and hassle of getting a new passport. However, a lost or stolen passport is much more than just an inconvenience; it can also be a security concern. In some cases, criminals use stolen passports in order to commit crimes and steal identities. For this reason, the US government has a special system in place in the event of a lost passport.
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are traveling, visit the nearest US embassy or consulate for assistance. It is often helpful to have photocopies of your passport in a safe place when traveling, just in case your passport is stolen. If your passport is lost or stolen when you are at home, apply for a new passport and file Form DS-64 (Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport). Once filed, Forms DS64 is entered into a database of lost and stolen passports, which is managed by U.S. Department of State. This system allows the US to keep track of lost and stolen passports by gathering all the material submitted via DS 64 forms.
Once you submit USCIS Form DS-64 and report your passport as lost or stolen, your passport will be invalidated. This will ensure that no one else can use it for travel. Once you have submitted immigration form DS-64, your passport cannot be validated again. This is for your own protection. If you find your passport after filing Form DS-64 and reporting it lost, send the passport to U.S. Department of State, Passport Services, Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036. You can then request the passport be cancelled and returned to you. If you do not make this request, the US Department of State will destroy the now-invalid passport.
If your passport has been lost or stolen, it is important to report this to the US Department of State via Form DS64. Reporting your passport lost ensures that criminals cannot use your passport to travel between countries. As well, if your passport falls into the hands of criminals and someone tries to commit a crime while using your passport, having filed form DS 64 shows that the passport was no longer in your possession and can therefore mean that you are protected from liability and other problems.