Carelessness is the principal reason travelers lose their passports. People may need to carry their passport with them because they must show it to cash traveler’s checks or the country that they are visiting requires them to carry it as an identity document. When they must carry their passport, they must conceal it securely on their person. It should not be put it in a purse, handbag, or in an outer pocket. When possible, it should be deposited passport in the hotel’s safe. It should not be left Do not leave it in the hotel room or m, and do not try to conceal it in pieces of luggage. One member of a group should not carry all the passports for the entire group.
Criminals sometimes use stolen U. S. passports to enter the United States illegally or to help them establish false identities. This can cause distress and embarrassment to innocent U. S. citizens whose names become associated with illegal activity. Travelers should be aware that consular officers overseas may take certain precautions to process lost passport cases. Should they lose their passport while traveling abroad, these precautions may in turn cause them some delay before their new passport is issued.
If their passports is are lost or stolen abroad, travelers should report the loss immediately to the local police and to the nearest U. S. embassy or consulate. It will help speed the replacement process if travelers can provide the consular officer with the information contained in their passport. Their passport is the most important document that they will carry abroad. It is proof of their U. S. citizenship. It should never be used it as collateral for a loan, nor should someone lend it to anyone. It is the best form of identification. Travelers may need it when they pick up mail or check into hotels, or when they register at embassies or consulates.
When entering some countries or registering at hotels, travelers may be asked to fill out a police card listing their names, passport numbers, destinations, local addresses, and reasons for travel. They may be required to leave their passport at the hotel reception desk overnight so that the local police may check it. These are normal procedures required by local laws. However, if the passport is not returned the following morning, immediately report the seizure to the local authorities and to the nearest U. S. embassy or consulate.