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Damaged Passport Question?

Hey all,

Anyone know how damaged a passport has to be to be considered unusable? I was supposed to go out of the country next week, and yesterday my dog got a hold of my passport and did a number to the cover. I've included a picture of it with this post, is it too damaged to be accepted now?

UoTw0Xx.jpg

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Posts

  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Is it just the cover, or are the inside pages damaged?

    From the photo you're probably OK unless you get a noteably picky person checking you out.

    EDIT: Basically the most important part are the bio pages. If any of the text describing you is fucked up, or the page is peeling, you might have an issue.

    Phoenix-D on
  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    The inside pages, have some raised bumps from teeth marks and slight holes but none of the important information is damaged. The picture, signature, and all the other important information aren't damaged at all.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    It'll honestly probably depend on whether or not the folks at the airport (on either end) decide that today is a good day to be an asshole, unfortunately.

    The damage doesn't look too bad to me, and if everything on the inside is still perfectly readable it would be reasonable to say that the passport is valid, but airports tend to be their own little kingdoms where the strictness of the rules depends on whether the customs agents / gate security folks had a bad weekend or not.

    With Love and Courage
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Can you get an emergency passport in the US? In the UK you can spend pretty much an entire day queuing and pay out the nose for an emergency same day issue passport.

    Were it me and that option were available, I'd take the guaranteed day wasted getting a new passport over the chance of being turned away at the airport.

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    The Ender
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    while it's unfair to say that customs officers will deal with you differently based on wether they had a 'bad weekend', it's certainly true that standards on that sort of thing are more pliable than universal. i had a fraying passport after 8 years of use and only a few officers noted that it was a problem. you'll be unlucky for it to be an issue that halts your journey, but there's a good chance you'll be warned that it's not acceptable

    i would replace it as soon as possible.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    I'm fairly sure a passport has to be damaged to unreadability to be considered invalid if there's no evidence of tampering.

    but if the interior is ripped/chewed in similar character to the exterior I'd probably replace it just to avoid some customs official looking sideways at you (especially if you're trying to get back into the country.)

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  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    Can you get an emergency passport in the US? In the UK you can spend pretty much an entire day queuing and pay out the nose for an emergency same day issue passport.

    Were it me and that option were available, I'd take the guaranteed day wasted getting a new passport over the chance of being turned away at the airport.

    I've looked up getting one expedited, but other than costing about $400 when it's all said and done, it requires a birth certificate. Unfortunately, I don't have mine, and it would take 2 weeks or so to get one.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular

    I'm fairly sure a passport has to be damaged to unreadability to be considered invalid if there's no evidence of tampering.

    but if the interior is ripped/chewed in similar character to the exterior I'd probably replace it just to avoid some customs official looking sideways at you (especially if you're trying to get back into the country.)

    Yea, I was originally going to try and replace it, but from a time perspective, it's impossible to do before my trip.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Here is a picture of the inside page with the important info (edited out)
    ePlww5J.jpg

    Death Cab For Albie on
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  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    the problem there is that the two text lines at the bottom are the machine-read part, and they're pierced; it's going to get attention, and if the computer isn't able to automatically read it it could be a fair bit of attention. i still think you'd be very unlucky to be turned away or given more than a warning about it, but i'd be hesitant to travel with that. use what time you have to contact the customs office at your point of departure ahead of time and ask what options you have.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    Thanks bsjezz, i think i'll head over to the airport tomorrow and see what they say.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Can you get an emergency passport in the US? In the UK you can spend pretty much an entire day queuing and pay out the nose for an emergency same day issue passport.

    Were it me and that option were available, I'd take the guaranteed day wasted getting a new passport over the chance of being turned away at the airport.

    I've looked up getting one expedited, but other than costing about $400 when it's all said and done, it requires a birth certificate. Unfortunately, I don't have mine, and it would take 2 weeks or so to get one.

    Do you live near an actual passport office? I took care of it pretty easily, and received a brand new one in a week, but that's because I was able to walk into the San Francisco Passport Office and get everything taken care of through there.

    I'd recommend just going through the "renewing your passport" procedure instead of assuming your old one is completely borked for any purpose whatsoever. That way, you don't need a birth certificate, and can just show your Driver's License and turn in your old passport directly to the passport office. They are almost certainly reviewing the passport to ensure it isn't a counterfeit while they are holding it, so I doubt you will have any issues with that given you are turning in the real deal. (When you pick up your new passport, you also get the old one back - they just hole punch it so it's no longer usable.)

    The whole thing cost me about $150, expedited, including new passport photos. The additional peace of mind is probably worth it, if you really are concerned. Even if it's like a 1.5-2 hour drive, I'd say it's worth it.

    Each passport office does have their own requirements, though, so it helps to call in to ask what might be required to get an expedited passport request beyond what is shown on the government website. You have to call in to schedule an "appointment" anyway.

  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Here is a picture of the inside page with the important info (edited out)
    ePlww5J.jpg

    As someone who works international flights, I can tell you that if your passport won't scan because of the damage near the barcode at the bottom, they can refuse transport. Even if they allow you to get on the aircraft, if you arrive at customs and it doesn't scan, they might hold you.

    Is the picture distorted at all?

    DaMoonRulz on
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  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    Nope, not really distorted. I went to the airport today and asked a couple TSA Agents and some of the Ticketing Agents and they all thought it would be fine. So hopefully it'll work out.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Does this one have an RFID chip and is it damaged? If it is still intact it can scan and you should be ok because all your info is on the chip as well.

  • DoctorArchDoctorArch Curmudgeon Registered User regular
    edited July 2013
    Here is the State Department's page addressing the question: http://travel.state.gov/passport/faq/faq_1741.html
    Q:My passport has been damaged. Can I continue to use this passport?

    a:If your passport has been significantly damaged, especially the book cover or the page displaying your personal data and photo, you will need to apply for a new passport.

    Water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch and other injuries may constitute “damage” requiring use of Form DS-11.

    Normal wear of a U.S. passport is understandable and likely does not constitute “damage”. For instance, the expected bend of a passport after being carried in your back pocket or fanning of the visa pages after extensive opening and closing.

    In the end, unless it's pristine it will likely be a question left to the customs agents. My concern would be the damage to the book cover because that is where the passport contains the RFID chip.

    DoctorArch on
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  • Death Cab For AlbieDeath Cab For Albie Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Does this one have an RFID chip and is it damaged? If it is still intact it can scan and you should be ok because all your info is on the chip as well.

    Not sure. It's about 10 years old.

    But yea, it seems like it's basically going to come down to the customs officials and whether or not they feel like being dicks.

    ...we made it cool to wear medallions and say hotep...
  • DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Does this one have an RFID chip and is it damaged? If it is still intact it can scan and you should be ok because all your info is on the chip as well.

    Not sure. It's about 10 years old.

    But yea, it seems like it's basically going to come down to the customs officials and whether or not they feel like being dicks.

    This.

    Tsa and ticket agents can give their opinion but it all comes down to customs. I suggest tucking a 50 inside it so it falls out when you give it to the customs agent



    Seriously, don't do that.

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    Does this one have an RFID chip and is it damaged? If it is still intact it can scan and you should be ok because all your info is on the chip as well.

    Not sure. It's about 10 years old.

    But yea, it seems like it's basically going to come down to the customs officials and whether or not they feel like being dicks.

    The chips were added in 2006, 2007.

    Jokerman wrote: »
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  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Look at the front cover of your passport. Does it have a chip icon on the lower half? If it does, then it's RFID'd, if not, then most likely not.

  • XandarXandar Registered User regular
    I believe passports are only valid for 10 years, so hopefully 'about ten years' is less than 10 years old?

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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Xandar wrote: »
    I believe passports are only valid for 10 years, so hopefully 'about ten years' is less than 10 years old?

    It's new enough, it's got the newer style fancy background.

    I have one that just expired this year, has a plain blue background.

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  • jk141516jk141516 Registered User new member
    I find myself in an identical situation as you. Did you manage to get through your flight with it or was it a significant issue? If you're willing to help, I'd be most grateful. See here: reddit.com/r/solotravel/comments/eo1pyh/entering_usa_with_damaged_canadian_passport/ for my specific circumstances. Thank you so much if you're able to take the time and provide any help. Cheers!

This discussion has been closed.