Lost a US passport in the UK

Oct 2nd, 2006, 02:49 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 24
Lost a US passport in the UK

OK, 'fess up. I'm sure one of you savvy Fodorites has had the lost/stolen passport adventure. I ask because one of the people in my party (who was not me) managed to lose his passport (or it was stolen, but I doubt it).

Here's the story. We had just landed in London, took a nap and were off to see some sights and get dinner. We took a nice walk along the Thames and into the West End, had a good dinner, saw the Critical Mass riding by, and headed back. Next morning we're getting ready to head to Cheltenham to see my parents and thus begins the advdenture of the lost passport.

We decided to head out to Cheltenham, where we'd have a phone and internet, and a free place to stay, but still we've gotta get a US passport replaced.

Longwinded runup aside, here's the basics. we've got an appt at the Embassy in London on Tue (tomorrow). we'll have a pic taken. No copies of the passport, and no proof of citizenship (ie, birth certificate) with us. I've got my passport. Our plan was to head to Ireland on Wed (that won't happen), and fly from there to Amsterdam, stay a couple days, and then back to the US.

Any advice from someone's who's lost a passport before? will we have to stay in England? or will the Amsterdam leg be possible on an emergency replacement passport?

AnnaLiffey is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 03:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 696
My husband's was stolen in London a few years ago. I had to go with him and take a writen oath to certify his identity. He was isued an "emergency" passport and filled out the paperwork for a new one. He was flying in a day or two. Once the "new" passport came through he had to surrender the "emergency" passport. Please take the plane tickets or wmail print out of your reservation with you. I "should" speed things along.
Make sure that the photos are the correct size. There is a place near the embassy that will take "american" sized photos. Most places will do the British size and these won't work Some snappy snaps in London also know the different sizes. But be careful. You will also need to line uo outside bedore your appointment time. It pays to be there a bit early. The last time I had to go (renewal of kids' passports) out appointment was at 830. IF we had gotten there before 8 am we would have been the first inline outside and then inside. Things do move quickly, but I'm guessing you want to spend as little time on this as possible!!!!!!
highledge is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 05:53 AM
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We were planning to be there a bit early. But, yes we'd like to spend as little time as possible waiting in line at the Embassy.

Will I need to accompany him? It's my boyfriend who lost his passport. Since he's not a husband or relative, will my vouching for him even count?
AnnaLiffey is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 666
You should go with him to vouch for him.
I once had friends visiting and the husband has his passport (along with all their credit cards, money, etc.) stolen as they left the train station in Avignon.
Because he'd just gotten his new passport the evening before they left the States, he hadn't had time to make a
photocopy - so I had to vouch for the fact that he was a US citizen, along with his wife (who luckily had a photocopy of her passport).

A driver's license won't be sufficient as paper proof, btw.


PBProvence is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 10:56 AM
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Is there anyone at home who can fax you a copy of his birth certificate? (I would say FedEx but you're left it too late.)

I think that might help a lot - since I don;t know if they'll take the word of a girlfriend the way they would that of a spouse. And without it he has no proof he's an American - unless for some reason he has his voter registration card.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Sounds like you're somewhere with internet access so surely you've seen the info regarding lost passports at the US State Dept website:


FWIW, according to the above, you will be able to vouch for his identity:

>>Identifying Witness: Persons traveling with a group or with friends, family or associates in the foreign country can have such a person execute an affidavit of an identifying witness before the consular officer. An identifying witness does not have to be a U.S. citizen.<<

Good luck. What a major pain!
obxgirl is online now  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
lesson to be learned.
one should scan a copy of passport and other photo i.d. to your email so you can access it in the case you need it.

it facilitates the procedure greatly.
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I know from experience that if you have a photocopy, you can have it in a matter of hours, but without, it probably takes 2 days. Sorry for the inconveneince!
laclaire is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Here's another wrinkle since you will be going to Ireland.

My wife's passport was stolen at Heathrow several years ago. I was at home and faxed copies of her old passport and birth certificate right away. She had a new passport in a couple of days.

Then she went to Portugal. When she returned to the UK, she had a UK exit stamp in her passport but no entry stamp. How did she leave a country she had not come into, UK Immigration wanted to know?

It all worked out after a while, but she certainly was not the first person through the line to enter the country.
Ackislander is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:15 PM
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yes, as other posters have told you, you can and should go with him. The photo place on North Audley Street will take care of the photos.
highledge is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 12:58 PM
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I had 2 U.S. passports stolen in 2 years (one in Los Angeles, one in Johannesburg a year later). This does not have me in good standing with the U.S. passport authorities. Nevertheless, the embassy in Paris reissued passports both times with no problem... because they had issued the passport to me in the first place and could identify me from their records. My French identity documents speeded the process. I was, however, warned that if it ever happened a 3rd time, I would be issued a passport valid only for one trip back to the U.S.

Anyway, this information is of little use to you, AnnaLiffey, but the following information is good to know: for the next 10 years, your replacement passport will set bells ringing at U.S. immigration and they will ask you a number of extra special questions. Last time I arrived in Miami, I even spent 45 minutes locked up in the office with all of the future deportees (very interesting place). Plan for extra transit time for future travel.

kerouac is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Ohhhh....... extra questions. fun stuff. That'll be a good combo. I always seem to be flagged anyways. Just bad luck, I figured. We'll be quite the pair travelling together. At least one of us has a passport. And, we also have a free place to stay at my parents, with internet and a phone. Could be a whole lot worse.

We're off to the Embassy tomorrow. I'll post an update on this adventure.
AnnaLiffey is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2006, 01:40 PM
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I was a consular officer in London some years back. This is routine. In those days, we used to be able to issue a replacement on the spot, (no longer the case I fear) once we were satisfied that we had a citizen in front of us. How did we know? There are ways . . .

Have him bring *every* little bit of paper and plastic and I.D. he has. It can all help.
Oct 4th, 2006, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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All is well, and my boyfriend got a new passport. Travel disaster averted! Well, it wouldn't have been a disaster either way. Just a different plan than we had been thinking.

So, here's the lowdown. We showed up for our appt at the US Embassy, security was tight, as you'd imagine, but it didn't seem as tight as at the airport. That surprised me. We got to go in the short line as we were citizens, and the security check was pretty quick. Standard, metal detectors, etc.

When we got in, we had to surrender all electronics.

We got sent to the right room. Reminded me a lot of the DMV. Lovely 60's architecture. After waiting in about 4 different lines, Rob was asked to show his driver's license, and fill out few forms. He then paid 92 pounds, and was issued an emergency passport, good for a year. We were out of there in just over 2 hours. Not too bad, I'd figured we'd be there all day. Then off to do some shopping.

Now, let's see if we get our luggeage searched on the way home.... I told him he was on his own.
AnnaLiffey is offline  
Oct 4th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Glad to hear it worked out!
obxgirl is online now  
Oct 4th, 2006, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 578
I have a replacement passport after having mine lost a few years ago in London. I have traveled to France and Belgium, Sweden since and have never had a problem. Was not detained at all.
cobbie is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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On being detained at the airport: I have some red-light-and-bell stamps on my passport (Venezuela, Morocco, Jamaica) and if they look through the book, I always have to go to the back room and get searched. I considered "losing" the passport to get in good standing, but then found out that it actually does effect you every time they run it. So, I am going to stick with mine. Besides, I head back to Morocco in a few weeks and will just get another "evil" stamp.

Just wait until I get to Syria in the Spring. . .
laclaire is offline  
Oct 5th, 2006, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sorru but do not understand why you think Jamaica stamp is "red light"...my multiple Jamaica stamps have NEVER caused even an arched eyebrow. Please explain that comment.
Curt is offline  

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