What To Do If You Lose Your ID While Traveling

You've enjoyed a two-week vacation in the sunny Bahamas, and sadly, it's time to head home and get back into your daily activities of work and life. As the porter loads the last of your bags into the taxi for you to head to the airport, you pull out your wallet to tip him, suddenly noticing your ID is missing. A quick look and feel through every single slot and crevice in your wallet and pockets and it's not there. You check with the hotel desk and scour the room you stayed in, and it's still nowhere to be found. A lump forms in the back of your throat: You've lost your ID, and have no idea where.

But fear not. While losing your identification during the midst of your travels can be frightening and stressful, don't panic. While you may have minimal time before you get to the airport to catch your flight, it's important that the very first thing you do is file a report with a local police station that you've lost your ID — according to Frommer's — and obtain a copy of that report to bring with you to the airport.

Stay cool, calm, and collected

Once you arrive at the airport, rest assured, TSA has several options in place to help verify your identity, so you can get on that flight back home. Having a copy of the police report you filed is of great benefit, and can be provided to airport security agents, and the departure desk in order to validate that you have indeed lost your ID. Your passport also serves as proof of your identification.

However, the identity verification process may take some extra time, so be prepared to possibly miss your already scheduled flight, and to fly out on the next flight available. It's essential that you remain calm, and follow the appropriate steps necessary to protect yourself from possible identity theft.

TSA agents have a job to do, and that's protecting everyone from potential security risks and situations. By providing TSA agents with the required paperwork and identity verification items they ask for — without any conflict or negative reactions — the process will go smoothly, and in your favor.

The light at the end of the tunnel

After you've proven your identity to all pertinent personnel at the airport, take a deep breath, hop on your mobile device or laptop while you're waiting in the departure lounge, and report your lost ID online to the DMV office in the state you live in. Not only will that alert additional authorities that your identification is lost, but you may also be able to immediately apply for a replacement ID online if your DMV allows it, according to Driving Tests. Bear in mind, some DMVs require individuals to physically apply for a replacement ID in their offices, rather than online. If that's the case for your DMV, and you're able to make an appointment through their website, schedule one as soon as possible.

In the end, while finding yourself in this situation can be frustrating and inconvenient, ensuring you take immediate action is key, and will provide a great deal of comfort to you knowing that you did.