Your Guide to Replacing a Damaged Passport
Travelers who have a damaged passport need to replace this document as soon as possible. This is especially true in instances where individuals’ passports are damaged in a way that prohibits federal agents from reading the information printed in them. If applicants travel abroad with a damaged US passport, foreign governments could deny them entry into the country.
While there is a replacement passport cost that you must pay, it is important to obtain undamaged travel documents. The sections below explain how to tell if you need a new document, as well as how to submit a replacement US passport application. Learning this process before you travel out of the country can save you valuable time and energy abroad.
Do I need a replacement passport if my document is slightly damaged?
If you have a damaged passport, you may need to request a new document. However, the U.S. Department of State workers know that it is inevitable that your passport will reflect usage. For these reasons, you generally do not need to replace passports that are slightly bent or have loosened binding from being opened. However, you may need to replace a damaged passport if your document has:
- Major tears anywhere in the book.
- Markings on the passport holder’s data page.
- Pages that were torn out.
- Hole punches on your data pages.
Likewise, know that you need a US passport replacement if there is damage to your data page or to the cover of your book. You may be unable to use your passport if there is harm on these pages. To avoid delays later on, request a replacement passport as soon as possible.
How to Replace a Damaged Passport
You need to submit a damaged passport statement when you request a replacement document. On this statement, be sure to explain how your passport came to be in this condition. However, keep in mind that this statement does not serve as a passport application. If you want a replacement document, fill out Form DS-11 and request a new passport. When you submit this application in-person at a US passport office, be sure to bring your current passport with you. Likewise, be prepared to pay the passport replacement fee. This is the same amount that first-time passport applicants who submit DS-11 must pay, and it varies depending on your age and whether you request a passport card or book.