Is a reported lost passport still valid as proof of citizenship?
May 26, 2010 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Is a declared lost but then found passport still valid as proof of citizenship?

Sigh, I think I lost my U.S. passport again and because I have to travel in 2 weeks, I've made an appointment to go to a regional passport agency next week to get a new one. I had previously lost a passport, declared it missing, got a new one, but then found the original. Is the original lost passport still valid as proof of citizenship for getting a new one? Thanks so much. (Also, does anyone know if the the passport agency accepts walk-ins in case I want to take care of it earlier?)
posted by jng to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
Response by poster: Reason for the question: I'd rather not have to go back to my hometown to dig up my birth certificate, but if the original passport is no good, I guess I'll have to...
posted by jng at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2010

When I was doing this tango, I think a lost-then-found passport was valid identification [i.e. to get on a plane and travel to someplace else within the country] but not border crossing [i.e. a place where you'd have to cross a border or go through customs].
posted by jessamyn at 7:03 PM on May 26, 2010

I attempted to enter the US with a lost-then-found Permanent Resident Card once by mistake – I had both the original card and the new one ($400 replacement cost, not bitter at all) on me. I got handed a big red folder and got to spend a while in the "red folder" room with my American travel mate and other detainees.

I wouldn't recommend it.
posted by halogen at 7:40 PM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to clarify, I'm not trying to use the old passport to leave or re-enter the country (I know it won't qualify since I'm flying internationally) but rather as proof to get a new passport. Would it qualify as proof of citizenship? See below:

STEP 2: Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

When applying for a U.S. passport in person, evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):

Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport

Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
check box Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
Naturalization Certificate
Certificate of Citizenship
posted by jng at 7:54 PM on May 26, 2010

If you're trying to use the original lost and replaced passport for any valid purposes, it's likely that the number on that passport has been marked as such in the internal system. Is the passport agency you are going to an actual US facility or a third party?
posted by msbutah at 8:18 PM on May 26, 2010

An expired US passport remains valid proof of citizenship for something like 10 years after its expiration. As long as the lost-then-found passport hasn't been reported as stolen, I see no reason why it should not function in a similar fashion.

Incidentally, I have entered the US using a passport reported as stolen overseas (it was also a lost-then-found situation) with no problems at all. It seems like way too much of a risk to try it now, though.
posted by elizardbits at 8:29 PM on May 26, 2010

Call the same number you used to make your appointment and ask them.
Also, are you sure you would have to go back to your hometown to get your birth certificate? You can do most of that stuff online now, and here in Minnesota, you can get records at any office in the state.
posted by soelo at 7:28 AM on May 27, 2010

Even before the internet I was able to have the town I was born in send me copies of my birth certificate within a couple days - it was a small town in new england, so they probably didn't have much bureaucracy, but I went through that at least a couple times, for the same sort of reasons you are (lost passports when I had to travel very soon). They sent me multiple notarized copies of my birth certificate for something like $10 a pop.

Your old passport is probably fine, but it doesn't hurt to have a copy of your birth certificate anyway, and these rules can sometimes be up to the individual government worker to interpret... May as well play it safe if it's just a phone call / email.
posted by mdn at 8:12 AM on May 27, 2010

Response by poster: Phew, never mind. Found the thing under piles of papers in the closet... Thanks all for your help!
posted by jng at 11:01 AM on May 28, 2010

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