Earlier this year I had to file for a lost passport. The loss was stressful enough by itself, but was made worse because I couldn’t find much information about it. I was lost on how to file for loss!
So I called up their main office and got a list of initial requirements: Affidavit of loss and Police report.
The specifics, and the rest, I figured out along the way.
I’ve written down my experience here, step by step, in the hopes that it would make things a bit easier for anyone who experiences this loss.
1. File an affidavit of loss.
- In your affidavit, write a detailed explanation of when, where, and how the passport got lost. Here’s a sample template I found online. If you can, best to have a lawyer write it for you.
- Make 3 copies of the original.
- Have all four (original + 3 copies) notarized. Technically you’ll only need 3, but you might accidentally mix them up so I say play it safe and notarize everything.
2. File for a police report.
- Go to the police station nearest where you lost your passport and file a police report.
TIP: Only investigators can write the report, and not all police stations have an investigation unit. If your first police station doesn’t have one, ask them to redirect you to the right station (usually the bigger ones).
- To save you the trouble of explaining yourself to the investigator, hand them a copy of your affidavit of loss. They can then base their police report off the affidavit, ensuring all the facts are consistent across both documents. They’ll need to keep the copy though, which is why I said you’ll “technically” only need to notarize three.
- Thank your police officers! I read in another blog post that they had to pay a P50 fee, but our officers told us this kind of service doesn’t need payment.
- Make a copy. Or two. The extra copies weren’t needed from my experience, but you know, just in case.
3. Go to the DFA main office
- In Aseana Business Park in Parañaque. Not along Roxas Boulevard.
- And no, they don’t process lost passports in satellite offices (I asked).
- Ensure you have the documents from #s 1 and 2. Optionally, bring a copy of the first page of your lost passport if you have one (I did) and your birth certificate (I didn’t).
- You do NOT need an appointment. Just go right up to the entrance, tell the guard you’re filing for a lost passport. He’ll ask you if you have the above documents, then direct you to the information counter.
- At the information counter, they’ll request for documents #1 and #2 again. They’ll arrange your documents, and hand you a passport application form tagged for lost passport. You then proceed to a different room for processing.
- You don’t have to fill up the form now, but I did so anyway.
4. Have your papers processed.
- In the processing room do NOT immediately head for the lost passport booth (or booth #2 when I was there, only to be told I queued in the wrong line). Instead, dutifully fall in line with the new and passport renewal applicants for processing.
- During processing I was asked for a copy of my birth certificate–I didn’t bring one, the lady I talked to on the phone didn’t say I’d need it–so you may want to bring one along with you.
- They’ll stamp your form as “processed” and give you a list from which you can verify your identification next time (more on that later).
5. NOW queue at the lost passport booth.
- There you’ll submit THREE copies of your affidavit of loss (or if you’ve been following along, then all your remaining copies) and one copy of the police report.
If you don’t have enough copies, there’s a photocopier just outside the room but at a ridiculous marked-up price.
- If you have a copy of the first page of your lost passport (I did), you submit it here too.
- You then sign a waiver consenting to the invalidation of your lost passport.
- Your passport application form will be returned to you, along with an attached date: the date after your clearing period.
- Leave. Hurrah!
There’s a McDonald’s across the street–reward yourself a little for getting through this. Also, its a more convenient location for Uber pick-ups.
6. Wait out the clearing period.
- There’s a 15-day clearing period so you won’t need to go to DFA again until the date attached to your form.
- This would be a good time to gather your identification requirements from #4. In my case I readied:
- 1 old expired passport
- 2 original copies of my birth certificate
7. Return to the DFA main office on the specified post-clearing date.
- Don’t forget your form and identification requirements.
- Wear a collared shirt, don’t wear earrings, and the other type of stuff you usually do when taking an important government ID photo.
- Come as early as you can! You’ll see why in a bit.
- Again you won’t need an appointment for this. Just go up to the guard, tell them you’re there for the clearing of your lost passport, then…
8. Immediately queue up at the lost passport booth.
- No processing this time. No need to fall in line with the other applicants.
- Present your identification papers (see #6).
- Assuming nothing came up, you’ll be cleared, given a summary of fees, and told to pay at the cashier (2nd floor).
9. Pay at the cashier.
- Pay! Your amount will be the same as a new passport application (~P950), along with a lost passport charge (~P200?).
- You’ll be handed a queue number. Let’s hope its a small one.
10. Apply for a new passport, along with everybody else.
- Congratulations! You are no longer considered a “lost passport” applicant, just an ordinary “new passport” one.
- Too bad this means no more special treatment. You’ll now have to wait out the EXTREMELY LONG QUEUE along with everybody else.
This is why I told you to go as early in the day as you can. I lost a good three hours on this!
- Information validation, pictures, thumbprints, yadda yadda yadda.
- McDonald’s again. You deserve it.
And after a few weeks, ta-dah! Shiny new passport. Make a copy of the first page, then lock the passport in the vault so you may never lose it again.
Then book your next flight.