Damaged Passport

New Passport
New Passport

Damaged Passport Process Overview:

No matter how careful you are with your passport, it’ll inevitably get beaten up as it’s handled by you and passport control officers, stuffed into bags and pockets, carried through difficult climates, dropped, or worse. If your passport is looking less than new, here’s a guide as to what you can do.

First, normal wear and tear does not necessarily mean you have to replace the passport. If the cover is bent or wrinkled, the page edges are worn or fanned, or the pages have become slightly dirty from handling, your passport is probably still usable as long as the important parts — your photograph and identifying information — are still clear and legible.

However, there is no absolute standard for damage; in the end, the question of whether your passport is acceptable is up to the control officer who examines it. If your passport is looking worn out from normal use and you are concerned that it might not be accepted, it’s easy to get a replacement. You can apply for a new one by mail using State Department form DS-82, the same form you use to renew an expired passport.

Other kinds of damage are more serious. These include:

* Large tears or holes in the passport
* Extremely loose or missing pages
* Water stains and damage
* Unauthorized markings on the passport
* Heavy dirt or stains

This kind of damage is likely to render your passport unusable, especially if it affects the passport cover. Any damage that obscures information on the passport data page will invalidate the passport and should be dealt with immediately.

To replace a severely damaged passport, use State Department form DS-11. You cannot replace a damaged passport by mail. Take your damaged passport, a completed form DS-11, and proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or certificate of citizenship, to your local passport agency or center. If you are overseas when your passport is severely damaged, bring it to the local US embassy or consulate right away.

Whether you are renewing a lightly damaged passport or replacing a severely damaged one, you will need to pay the same fees as you normally do for a renewal or replacement. Check the State Department Web site for a schedule of current fees. Allow 4-6 weeks to receive your new passport for a normal request or 2-3 weeks for an expedited request. The State Department may be able to get your passport replaced even faster in case of emergencies, such as if your passport is damaged when you are abroad.

Required Documents:

There are many required documents if you are applying to replace a damaged passport. It is imperative you have all these documents to have the successful issuance of your new passport.

  1. The primary form of identification: Preferably a valid US Driver’s license that has been issued more than 6 months from present date. Other acceptable forms of identification include valid government ID, naturalization certificate, or previous passport book.
  2. One passport photo (2” x 2”)
  3. Proof of US citizenship: These include either an original US birth certificate, certified copy of US birth certificate, original naturalization certificate, or a previously issued US passport.
  4. DS-11 form: This form must be signed and dated by the applicant, in front of a federal official at an authorized passport acceptance facility.
  5. Damage Statement: This should explain the damage to your passport.
  6. Proof of international travel should you need an expedited passport within the next 2 weeks or 30 days if a visa is required.

Government Fees:

  • Passport book only: Application fee ($110) and acceptance agency fee ($25) = $135.
  • Passport book and card: Application fee ($140) and acceptance agency fee ($25) = $165.
  • Passport card only: Application fee ($30) and acceptance agency fee ($25) = $55.
  • Expedited service at an acceptance agency or regional passport agency, an extra $60 is required.

Complete The DS-11 New Passport Application:

There are two options when trying to complete the new passport application form. You can complete the DS-11 form online with the state departments website and use the online passport wizard to create a 2D barcode application form or download a hard copy of the DS-11 application form and hand write in your information. It is advisable to go with the online passport application wizard as this may speed up your passport application

Where to Apply:

There are many options where to apply for your damaged replacement passport depending on how fast you need the passport back in your possession. If you are not traveling soon, the place to go to is your local post office, county clerk or library. They are called acceptance agencies and offer routine service 4-8 week processing as well as expedited processing to speed things up a bit in 2-4 weeks depending on the time of year. If you are traveling within the next 30 days internationally you might want to visit a regional passport agency or use a 3rd party registered courier service to secure the passport much faster

Common Questions:

Q: What if my drivers license has just been issued?

A: Drivers license and a non-drivers identification need to be issued for more than 6 months in order to be accepted as primary identification. Should this be a newly issued driver’s license you will want to submit as much supplemental identification as possible. Please visit our identification page to learn more about this topic.

Q: What if I cannot find my damaged passport?

A: If you cannot find your damaged passport, you need to apply for a lost/stolen replacement passport. The process is almost the same as described here, with the addition of one passport form DS-64.

Q: Do I need to schedule an appointment to get a new passport?

A: You will need an appointment for all new passport applications when you appear at your local passport acceptance agency. You are also required to have a passport appointment to visit any regional passport agency if you are traveling in the next 14 days.