What to do if you’ve lost an item on New York City Subways or Buses

1. Items don't immediately make it to the Lost Property Office. If you recently lost something, check these places first before contacting the Lost Property Office:

  • If you lost an item it in the Subway system, talk to the station booth agent nearest to the location where you lost the item. If someone turns in a lost item to a station agent, it remains at the booth pending transfer to the Lost Property Unit.
  • If you lost an item on a bus, call 511 to see if your property is at the bus depot. Articles lost on a bus or turned in to a Bus Operator are delivered to that bus or driver’s bus depot. We hold items at the depot before sending them to the Lost Property Unit.
  • If you lost it on the Staten Island Railway, check in at the St. George Terminal. We hold lost items there before sending them to the Lost Property Unit.

2. We'll ask you to describe the lost item in detail. A description is to prevent people from trying to collect items that aren’t theirs. Some MTA representatives may need approval from their supervisors to release lost items.

3.Once we have determined we have your lost item, you’ll need to complete a lost property receipt. We will need your name, address, city, state, and zip code. We also need valid identification that matches the information written on the receipt. That could include a driver license, NYC ID, passport, job or student ID, etc.

4. If the local MTA representative didn’t have it, you should file a claim with the Lost Property Unit. You can file a claim in two ways:

5. If we have items that match your claim we will contact you via the email address you list in your claim. If lost property has a telephone number or address on it, we will use that information to try and contact you. We'll do that even if you didn't file a claim.

6. You can check the status of your claim by calling 511, or by visiting the Lost Property Unit.

7. Once we confirm that we have your item you can pick it up at the Lost Property Unit. That office is at the 34 St-Penn Station ACE Subway station on the central lower mezzanine under 34 St. You’ll need to bring identification and fill out a lost property receipt. You may still be asked to provide a detailed description of the item to prove ownership.

8. The amount of time we hold on to items varies based on the estimated value of the item. We hold items for at least three months and at most three years. If no one claims property during the retention period, it is auctioned, and the proceeds help fund MTA service. Property in poor condition is sent for disposal.