Dear PoP – “lost wallet and passport on 42 bus — URGENT”

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“Dear PoP,

My friend Sarah believes her wallet was stolen on the 42 bus on Thursday night (8/19) on the way to dinner. it’s especially urgent because her passport is inside it and she’s scheduled to leave for Peru in the morning. She’s trying to get an urgent replacement in the next day or two, but it would be grand if someone happened to find it on the sidewalk along the 42 route. It didn’t have any money in it, so it’s unlikely it would be useful to anyone. It’s a large, brown leather wallet. If someone does find it, can you please email me at elyse.moody(at)

If nothing turns up, it’s at least a good reminder to zip/fasten/close up your purse.

We’re researching what to do to get a replacement passport ASAP but any advice would also be useful.”

If anyone happens to be walking around Connecticut Ave, NW and Florida please see if a passport happened to be tossed and email elyse.moody(at) Also does anyone know how fast you can get a passport reissued and how that is done?

28 Comment

  • When I was abroad and lost my passport, the American consulate had a new one for me in about 8 hours (though I had to spend almost all of those 8 hours waiting at the embassy, lucky for me my trip was six weeks long). It was a temporary passport that expired in one year, but still.

    I don’t know why, but I suspect it’s not that quick when you’re actually in the US of A. I’m sure they don’t feel as big an urgency when you’re not trapped in another country already, but I’ve never had to do it, so I hope that’s wrong.

  • My sister and her husband were in town a 2 weeks ago and after a few too many on hst her husband lost his wallet on a metro bus. Just this week they received a letter from Metro saying they found his wallet…but he needs to pick it up in person. They live in Charleston, SC…

    • Have him get a power of attorney for the wallet and as much of the individual contents as he can remember. If it’s notarized legally they can’t refuse it.

  • you mean if she has a notorized document saying her passport was stolen, then she could still make it on her flight? who can’t refuse it?

    • Passport is necessary for traveling to Peru – the airline won’t let you on the plane w/out one (notarized docs will not be an adequate substitute)

    • I think Nice Marmot was responding to the situation Noah described (getting wallet back from Metro), not the original person with the passport issue.

    • No, I’m saying metro can’t refuse to hand back the wallet.

  • My office uses a company called World Visa Travel here in DC to expedite visas and passports. I think they could get you a new passport in as little as 24 hrs, prob could be expensive. But worth calling them to ask.

  • I live at 20th and Fla and took a walk around Florida/Conn/T Street and didn’t see anything. I would recommend contacting the MPD district commander to see if they have received any reports of a lost wallet or if one of their officers picked it up while walking the neighborhood.

  • thank you, rachel. we called the police, but it’s worth trying again. appreciate your help!

  • Got my daughter’s passport recently in 24 hours through A-1 Passport Service. I highly recommend them. 202-639-1500

  • In a sane logical modern computerized world, the airline, the TSA and boarder patrol, even a currency exchange service, should all have records of her entering the country under a Peruvian passport and so be able to back-step enough to establish her identity. Keep pressing on (gently) to find that one person who can make it happen.

    Otherwise – buy her a ticket Arizona and let them deport her home.

  • For future consideration, travel insurance is a good thing to have in situations like this. It will cover the cost of last-minute rebookings and cancellations and possibly passport expiditing.

  • I’m pretty sure I got a passport in less than 24 hours from the passport agency downtown. It was that time in 2007 when they changed the rules right before spring break to require everyone traveling to the caribbean to have a passport. I was traveling to asia and already had a passport, but it was less than 6 months from expiration and the airline was not going to let me board (lesson learned).

    All the passport offices that were within a day’s drive from DC were totally full for 2 weeks out, so I walked in to the downtown office without an appointment, explained that I was traveling in less than 48 hours, and they expedited my application for little or no additional cost.

    The exact details are fuzzy, but I remember it going very smoothly, especially during such a crazy week. I think there is hope for your friend to get on a flight before the end of the weekend.

  • You can get a passport the same day. But you’ve got to get there early in the morning, because they only run the prints once a day (3pm I think?). Don’t go to an agency, go directly to the passport office.

  • Odds are your passport is gone. A valid American passport is like gold for a lot of folks.

    You need to report it lost to the State Dept. (you need to fill out a form reporting it lost):

    And then you can get a new one. You need to also fill out a new D-11 form (as if you’re getting a brand new passport).

    If you’re not already down at 19th St. in line, leave now. Make sure you have all the documents (2 required forms which you can fill out online and print at home if possible) birth certificate, social security card, photo ID and photos) you need with you:

    1111 19th Street, N.W.
    First Floor, Sidewalk Level
    Washington, D.C. 20036
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., local time, M-F,

  • Thanks everyone — especially the people who took time to look around — so nice! We got in line at 7:30am, she will have a passport in hand at 11:30am, and she’ll hopefully be headed to Peru at about 5pm.

    Good thing to know, but I hope I never have to repeat it!

    Please take this as a reminder to close your purse/bag on Metro, hold it tightly, and be aware of your surroundings 🙂

    • Here’s another idea Einstein. Keep your passport at home in a safe place and don’t carry your passport around with you until you are actually leaving the country. Get a DC ID and use that for everyday ID.

      • You know, sometimes there are reasons why a passport must leave the relative security of its owner’s house. I doubt she was actually carrying it around to get into bars.

      • Anonomi,

        To get into bars in DC, without a US driver’s license / ID, visitors need to use their passport. A copy is not enough, an EU driver’s license doesn’t work either. DC’s strict ID laws for getting into bars combined with the alcohol found in those bars can lead to these situations pretty easily.

        • You CAN get in with an expired passport, though. I know someone who doesn’t drive and never bothered to get a state-issued ID, so that is what she uses. If it gets lost or stolen it’s not a big deal since she still has her unexpired passport.

          • I’ve seen people with expired licenses / passports be turned away from bars because if its expired its no longer “valid” in DC’s eyes.

  • Look inside the trash cans, thieves usually throw the emptied wallets in the trash cans in the streets.

  • The funny thing is, I found a passport at Florida and Conn a couple years ago. Called up the embassy of the country that issued it, and they said they’d take it.

  • you can also contact Del. Holmes Norton’s office, and they should be able to help you if the line at 19th st. is too long. assuming you have the correct/required documents (see state dept. link someone posted above), are a US citizen, etc., you can get one by later today.

  • moral of the story i guess is to make copies of it at home and NOT take it in to work with you to make copies for safekeeping.

    the 19th street office issued a new one within 4 hours.

  • I lost my passport in Sydney Australia last year and someone returned it to the Consulate the same day. What a nightmare it is to lose your passport in a foreign country.

  • Awww… sorry to hear about ur purse… i know how it feels to lost a purse… i had my purse stolen last month with all my credit cards, cash and other important stuff…. i was so pi$$ed and then was worried about identity theft… u know this identity theft has become such a common practice these days that no one is safe from it…thats a good step that you instantly called the cops and report… and God Bless my Mom who gave me this link… 🙂 – This company was a great help! glad i’ve used them……..

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