What to do if you lose a passport in Mexico, from experience

In the summer of 2014, I traveled with a group of 7 people on a medical missions trip in Oaxaca, Mexico. One lady lost her passport in a small town several hours from Oaxaca city, and we don’t know if it was stolen or misplaced.

I called the US embassy in Mexico City that night, and pressed the buttons to speak to the duty officer. The lady was not especially helpful nor proficient in English, and she told me to go to the nearest consulate and to file a police report. After googling it, the nearest consulate appeared to be in Oaxaca City, so we planned on filing a police report and processing everything there before our flight out in a few days.

Thankfully, we realized that this was not the way it had to be done. After talking to our travel agent and Homeland Security, we realized that we would have to take a bus all the way up to Mexico City and process everything through the Embassy there. We were told that we didn’t need to file a police report, and we made the trip. Be careful on the taxis in Mexico City. From the main bus terminal to the Embassy (more or less 30 minutes), the cost should not be more than US $10 or so.

Upon arrival to the Embassy, we were told that only the lady who had lost her passport was able to enter, despite the fact that I am also a citizen. She had a copy of her passport, and we did not get any pictures or anything else. Thankfully, there is a Starbucks within 100 yards or so, where we waited patiently for her. Initially, she took about 90 minutes I believe (it was around 9:00 AM), and then we had to wait until 3:00 PM for her to pick it up. She was issued an emergency passport, and I believe the cost was around $150.

There is one final thing to keep in mind if you also lost your immigration card, issued upon entry to Mexico. They force you to pay a fee, but it’s not quite that easy. We had to seek out the customs/immigration (aduana/inmigracion) office within the airport and process a lot of paperwork in Spanish. Then, we had to go over to the other terminal to pay the fee of around US $26. Since we were in a hurry, it was fastest to take the special airport taxis that go between terminals for $US 10 each way.

It wasn’t easy, but we were thankful to be able to process everything relatively quickly once we figured out the process. Hope that’s helpful!

1 Response
  1. Scott Kenan

    I went through this exact process of replacing a lost passport at the Guadalajara US Consulate, which has enhanced services compared to the other consulates in Mexico. I believe these are the only two places it can be done in Mexico in one day.

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