It can be difficult to know what to do if you are facing a life or death situation. This difficulty is especially high when you need to travel to another country. If you ever find yourself in this position, and you do not have travel credentials to get back home or to get yourself to a country that you or your loved one will be more comfortable in, you will need to obtain an emergency passport. While the stress of your situation may be weighing down on you, the process to use the emergency passport service is simple and designed for your convenience during this difficult time.
The United States Department of State defines a life or death emergency as involving the serious illness, injury or death of someone in your immediate family. The Department of State indicates that your situation must mandate your traveling within 24 to 48 hours to a country that requires an emergency passport.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to using the emergency passport service is that people outside of the United States will have to go through a different process than those individuals who are inside of the country.
In the event that you are currently in the United States, have lost your travel credentials and need to get an emergency passport replacement, you will have to go in person to a Passport Agency in the area, where you will be asked to provide the necessary documentation. This will include:
Before you visit the Passport Agency that is closest to you, the Department of State requires you to make an appointment. You can do so by calling the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 (TTY/TDD 1-888-874-7793). The automated system is available to you 24 hours a day. However, if the automated system is not working, for whatever reason, you can ask to speak to a customer service representative. Keep in mind these representatives will only be able to take your call during business days, which are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Another thing to remember is that the representatives of this emergency passport service will not be available on federal holidays.
Meanwhile, individuals who are not inside of the United States at the time of a life or death emergency are instructed to contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. Each Embassy and Consulate will have different procedures for obtaining an emergency passport.
If you cannot get in touch with a representative from customer service and the automated system is not working to give you an appointment for your emergency passport renewal or issuance, call 202-647-4000. This number will take you to the main switchboard of the US Department of State.