What happens if you lose your U.S. Passport more than once?
August 14, 2014 8:25 AM   Subscribe

I never lost a passport until 2 weeks ago. It was a 10 year passport and it still had 3 years left on it before it would've expired so those are a lot of years of memories I lost. Now I'm applying for a new one, but I've heard terrible stories about passports getting revoked for 10 years if they are lost more than once or something like that. What???? That would be terrible to be unable to travel for a whole decade. I'll be an old lady by then. Is this what happens if I lose my replacement passport too?
posted by rancher to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
Your replacement passport will not be dated from the original/lost passport, but will be dated from the replacement date.

There is no uniform prohibition against replacing a passport twice. However, you may find yourself being required to provide additional information and/or only being issued a shorter passport (3 years) if the Department of State views your request as potentially fraudulent. I don't think there's any chance of that happening if you keep a passport for seven years before losing it.
posted by saeculorum at 8:30 AM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

TLDR - Don't worry

The right to freedom of travel (international), while not a constitutional right, is important, and you are required to get due process before it is restricted. It's also part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It's covered in the law at 22 CFR 51.60 - DENIAL AND RESTRICTION OF PASSPORTS. They're not allowed to just randomly punitively refuse to reissue you a second lost passport. They'd have to determine that you were an active threat to national security, and you'd have a right to a hearing on their refusal to issue you a passport.
posted by mercredi at 8:53 AM on August 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

You have to be a chronic loser of passports for them to do something so punitive. I lost a passport in a move and I was able to get a new one with no problems. For other, unrelated reasons, I had to go to the Passport Agency office, so I got a mild lecture about how I should not lose my passport, but it was fine. If you're losing them frequently and they suspect that you may be misusing them or engaged in some kind of fraud, they can ratchet up the response, but losing one passport doesn't get you on that radar.
posted by quince at 10:06 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

From an anonymous commenter:
State Department here. Don't worry. People lose passports all the time. And people lose replacement passports for lost passports some of the time. We'll take care of you, and it will be ok. A 10 year travel ban for losing two passports is just an urban legend-- one I actually hadn't heard before.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:58 AM on August 14, 2014 [7 favorites]

I had two passports stolen (or possibly lost) in less than a 10 year period. I had no problem getting replacements in short order.
posted by bswinburn at 11:50 AM on August 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

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