So this friend went on a road trip to France and Spain and while on the road, he lost his passport. Ofcourse he had two options. One was to get panicked and run from pillar to post. The other was to figure out the way to get it resolved.
So if you are abroad and you lose your passport, you need to do the following.
- Lodge an FIR with the nearest police station. So before you head out to a new country, you need to have the phone numbers of the tourist police and the emergency number (like they have 100 in India and 911 in US).
- Once you have the FIR, you need to goto the Indian consulate. This may or may not be in the same city as you are in. Get prepared to travel to the city that has the consulate. Here is a list of all Indian Embassies abroad.
- At the consulate, you would need to give the FIR, your photographs and an identity proof that ascertains that you are an Indian. It would be perfect if you have a scanned copy of your passport but if you dont, your Indian driving license and other such documents would suffice.
- And then follow the process the consulate recommends. Surprisingly, unlike the most Indian government offices, the consulate offices are surprisingly efficient and they issue either an Emergency Certificate or a new passport within 24 hours (An emergency certificate allows you to travel back to India and your passport allows you to carry on your itinerary as planned).
At the cost of repetition, here is a checklist before you head out to a new country for a road trip.
- Always keep a scanned copy of your passport on the internet. Use services like Dropbox to ensure that its easily accessible. In fact on my Dropbox, I have this folder called legal that has almost all the legal documents that I may need (driving license, PAN card etc) at any time.
- Always carry a cheat sheet about the places you are going to visit. I use this sheet that I made for myself. This is one printed side of an A4 and has all the things that I may need - emergency contact numbers, hotel numbers, airline PNR, address of the nearest Indian consulate etc.