Protect Your Passport

Do you plan to travel abroad for business or pleasure? A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc. presents several ideas to protect you and your passport when travelling. Here are useful tips for what to do if it’s lost or stolen.

Make a Copy of Your Passport

Before you leave on your trip, make two copies of your passport identification page. Leave one copy at home where a family member, a friend or relative can find it. Take the other with you. Keep the copy in a separate place from your passport. It’s also a good idea to bring along two or three passport photos.  Ideally, these should be identical 2″ x 2″ photographs taken within the last six months. The photos should feature a front view of your face on a white background. In addition, you should have another form of photo ID, for example your driver’s license, and a copy of your birth certificate (or another document to prove your citizenship). If your passport is lost or stolen, having these will speed up the replacement process.

You may want to register with the U.S. embassy in the country you are visiting if you plan to stay for two weeks or more.

Do not be too conspicuous with your passport. You may risk having the passport stolen, as well as your other identification, credit cards and money . Show it only when you need to provide it to officials. At all other times keep it on your person.

Do not leave your passport in checked luggage. Leave a photocopy of it in your luggage, a handbag or an exposed pocket. When you leave your hotel, when possible, put your passport in a hotel safe. Do not leave it in an empty hotel room. One person should never carry all the passports for an entire group. Never lend your passport to anyone. Do not use it as collateral or ask someone to hold it for you.

Replacing a Lost or Stolen Passport

If you discover that your passport is missing, contact the nearest police authorities, U.S. embassy or consulate. You will be asked to fill out a DS-11 form, which is the standard passport application form. You are not required to know the passport number or issuance date to apply for a new passport. But if you have your copy with you, that information is available.

If the passport is still valid, you must also complete the DS-64 form to report the lost or stolen passport. You will be asked to report how, where and when you lost your current passport, what you did to recover it, and what the end result was. This form must be submitted with the DS-11 application.

In emergencies, you may contact the National Passport Information Center (NPIC) for support. You may reach an operator Monday through Friday from 8 a.m until 10 p.m. ET by calling (877) 487-2778; an automated system is also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you want to find out the status of an application, you can now check online.

If you plan to travel from Paterson to Paris, Butler to Berlin, Alpine to Austria or from any New Jersey city to another country, take the time to ensure the security of your passport. These tips are brought to you by A.C. Marmo & Sons, Inc. Visit our website: www.acmarmo.com.

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