Going on vacation is always fun whether you’re going with friends, family, or by yourself. But that becomes quickly more worrying when unexpected events happen, and losing your passport is one of the biggest that can occur.
If you are unfortunate enough to lose your passport while traveling in Mexico, there are a few things you can do to try and solve the problem.
Of course, you’ll have to contact the local embassy or consulate, but there’s much more to do before getting your brand new passport. We’ll go more in detail about this issue in this ultimate guide.
Can You Fly Back Home Without a Passport?
When a tourist lost his passport back in the day, he could simply go to the nearest embassy and request a certificate. However, that isn’t the case anymore.
It isn’t possible to fly back home without a passport, and you’ll have to contact the embassy or consulate in Mexico to get a new passport before going back to the States.
When traveling in Quintana Roo, it’s worth noting that your tourism tax receipt is not stored in your passport so that you won’t have an issue showing it to the authorities. This $38 tourism tax must be paid before entering the Mexican soil on Visitax.
What to Do if You Lose your Passport While in Mexico?
You’re the unfortunate victim of a passport theft, or you’ve lost it along the way. That can happen, and you’re definitely not the first person to urgently request a new passport.
Contact the Nearest Embassy or Consulate
To start with, you’ll have to contact the embassy or consulate in the city where you’re located. For instance, a US Consular Agency is located in Cancun, and you can get there quickly or phone them while in Mexico.
They will help you replace your passport and provide advice on what to do next.
You will likely need to provide documentation, such as your birth certificate or driver’s license, to replace your passport.
While rarely necessary, we recommend keeping your country’s embassy or consulate information in a safe place so you can easily access it if needed.
If you cannot contact your country’s embassy or consulate, or if they are unable to help you, you may need to seek assistance from the local authorities. However, they may not provide as much assistance as the embassy or consulate.
File a Police Report
After contacting the nearest embassy, you may file a report at the local police station. You’ll be asked your private information and more details about the event to report on an official certificate to give to your embassy.
Ensure you have all of your important documents with you, such as your driver’s license, birth certificate, or any other document that you think might be helpful.
Note that this is an optional step, which might slow down the entire process. So if you plan to fly out soon, skip this part and take official photos.
Take New Passport Photos
If you lose your passport while in Mexico, the first thing you need to do is report it to the local police. They will help you with the process of getting a new passport and may also be able to help locate your lost one. You will need to take new photos before you have a new one, so make sure you bring them with you.
Contacting your embassy and going there with the photos ready will help to get your new passport more quickly. You’ll find photo booths and photographers pretty much everywhere in Mexico.
Apply for a New Passport
After taking your passport photos, you’ll have to fill in a form before going to the Embassy or Consulate. For US citizens, there are 2 different forms: one for standard passport applications and one for stolen or lost passport.
You should know that once you submit the form, your passport will be registered as not valid anymore, so you will be able to use it for any purpose. So suppose you happen to find your passport later; it will not be active to travel anywhere. Of course, you’re in Mexico; the Mexican system might not record the US’s data immediately, so you may still be able to use it to go to the club or buy alcohol, but not for official purposes.
Go to the Nearest US Embassy or Consulate to Get Your New Passport
With your Official-sized photos and your lost passport form filled out, it’s time to get to the local Embassy or Consulate. Apart from those, you will also need to bring more documents:
- Identification such as your driver’s license
- Your documents or confirmation emails showing your travel itinerary
- The evidence of US citizenship – a copy of your lost passport or a birth certificate
Of course, all these may be too many to prepare if you need another passport on the same day, but the embassy requires you to have them. For this reason, you may be stuck in Mexico for a few more days.
Pay the Fee and Wait for Your New Passport
Now that you’ve submitted all your documents, it’s time to pay the fee. You are expected to pay the regular price of a new passport – $140 for US citizens and $190 for Canadian citizens for a 5-year passport or $260 for a 10-year one.
Unfortunately, it’s worth noting that it can take 4 to 6 weeks for a passport renewal in the USA. However, in Mexico, this timeframe is significantly reduced. In the case where you lost your passport right before your flight, you will receive an emergency passport 24 hours to go back home only, and not to other countries.
You should note that Embassies and Consulate do not offer assistance during holidays and weekends, which may bring another layer of issues if you have a flight coming up.
Last but not least, once you’re back home, you’ll have to give the emergency passport back to receive your new one.