Slightly Damaged Passport

Old Nov 14th, 2012, 06:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Slightly Damaged Passport

Hi Travelers .. I was hoping some of you could help me with a concern of mine. After an exstensive study abroad trip across Europe, My USA passport has become slightly worn. Since then I have also made trips to Mexico and the Domonican Republic (without issue). My passport is showing obvious signs of wear and tear. However the information page is still fully intact and lamination is still down. The upper corner of the first page is also torn (very small). When the airport ticket lady took my passport last year before going to the Dominican she told me that it would not get me into Mexico. Therefore, after planning this trip to Mexico on Nov 26, I took it to a post office and they told me that it was fine I didn't need a new one. It is by no means mutilated, or water damaged but still as my trip is impending I'm getting more and more nervous about being denied entry into Mexico. I know its often up to the discretion of the airlines. Has any US travelers had any experience entering Mexico with a less than pristine passport (flying Us Airways )?
LeeLee2299 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are actually threeissues here. 1) Can your passport be swiped by authorities and read easily? 2) Will the country to which you are traveling accept your passport? 3) Will the U.S. replace your passport since it's not expired or due to expire shortly?

I can't tell you the ins and outs here, but some countries do have more stringent requirements than others and their own quirks. Mexico may be among those. I know that Costa Rica can be very strict about things like this, but I have no personal experience with a slightly damaged passport in Mexico.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:29 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The info page w/ my picture is completely in tact and readable. I'm assuming it swipes because I used it last year. It expires in 2015. When I took it to the post office to get a renewal, the people there said it would be "waste of money" so I didn't do it. I kinda wish I would have erred on the way of caution and done it anyway
LeeLee2299 is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are concerned, then you really should try to get it replaced. You have plenty of time to do so, though you may have to use an expediting service. But I would not necessarily take the word of someone at the post office regarding whether or not a foreign country will deem your passport acceptable. (But it is going to be very expensive if you replace it now.)
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Nov 14th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,802
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is from the US State Department website - beyond that no one here can give you any assurances your passport will be accepted in its current condition:

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. You will need to submit the following in person (See Where to Apply):
1) The damaged passport
2) Form DS-11
3) All documents required by Form DS-11, including citizenship documentation (i.e. birth certificate)

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 most cases of normal wear, you may renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82.

Please remember, if you try to renew a significantly damaged passport using Form DS-82, you may be asked by the Passport Agency to apply again using Form DS-11 and incur additional fees.

My point being, if the Mexican immigration authorities reject your passport telling them that the people on a Travel forum told you it would be OK won't help you one bit. You have to determine to your own satisfaction how badly your passport is damaged and whether or not you want it replaced. FYI - the clerk at your local Post Office IS NOT an employee of the State Department nor is he/she qualified to tell you what the Mexican Authorities will or will not accept.

Since you are traveling in less than two weeks you should contact the State Department as soon as possible and pose the question to them - they are the experts.
RoamsAround is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2012, 09:32 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,166
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can:

- go with what you've got.

- get expedited service to replace the passport, if there is enough time.

- take the pp to a passport office intending to replace it. If they judge that the passport is not damaged (and only normally worn and not torn) then you can replace it or not.

- take the pp to an international airport if you want reassurance. Go to the Customs and Border Patrol office at the airport for an opinion. Ask at the ticket counter.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2012, 09:35 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,166
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Of course, you might not get that reassurance.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2012, 09:45 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,166
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
another thing you can do:

- wait for fodorites who can answer your specific question. This is roughly equivalent to doing nothing.

In my opinion, if it is "slightly damaged" (per the thread title) then it is damaged. If it is "slightly worn" (per the OP) then it is not damaged. But, as the postal, airline, and CBP employees might tell you: I am not a Mexican border official.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Old Nov 15th, 2012, 09:51 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would never trust any post office employee's opinion on almost any passport matter. They think a passport stamp is what one uses to mail the passport.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Old May 5th, 2016, 12:22 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yup. Was denied entry by a Ticket Counter Agent, two weeks ago at McCarren (VEGAS), going to Cancun. It was a SouthWest Airline agent, and my passport is heavily 'used' and shows wear and no signs of tearing. The US State Department considers most passports that are not significantly damaged, fine and acceptable; however there are several agencies that can, legally, not find it acceptable. ie. the ticket agent, the counter, the gate agent, the TSA agent, and of course the Passport Control/Immigration officer in the country you are going to. We know all this; it just is rather disheartening that it isn't the same across all those thresholds. It is the specific agent that determines what 'damaged' means.

My entire INFO page, with all the important >>>> numbers is completely intact, except for the corners being separated from the threading base. Naturally, the ignorant supervisor, decided to raise the edges to show me, and made it worse. We got in a heated exchange and said, 'Sir I didn't do this to deny you boarding.' I bit my tongue. He made it worse, but they 'did' credit me for a future flight to Cancun, AND gave me a 100 voucher for future travel AND gave me instant flight across country to Boston, as that would have been my return destination after Mexico.

I believe my passport will be fine boarding other flights on other airlines to other countries. SEVERAL, not only agents, but also many flight attendants and other counter agents, said it is a MEXICAN IMMIGRATION issue, not SWest Airlines. That Mexico is indeed like the gestapo when it comes to papers and passports and of course if a tourist or the like, is denied entry by a Mexican Immigration officer, the slack eventually falls HEAVILY on the agent that allowed the "DOCS OK" stamp.

I kept my cool, and was awarded for not flipping out. It became a mini circus, with over 5 or 6 agents on the phone and getting supervisors over and even trying to call me multiple times the day before, as I was issued the boarding passes and tickets 22 hrs before my flights; not only that they asked if it was ok to take photos of it to use for other agents in the future in training modules etc.

It is now going on the 3rd week. I have no time to get another one, and I am going to see what another airline says, en route to London, and then through to Spain and then eventually Rio. I believe I will be fine as my date page is very clear, legible and can be easily read with no missing info.

But fair warning for flying into Mexico, evidently Mexican Customs agents, DO NOT PLAY GAMES. Just giving you my exact situation to what occurred with a passport that was clearly not damaged, but just heavily traveled with.
KHP101 is offline  
Old May 5th, 2016, 12:26 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
-->not 'date page', meant data* page.
KHP101 is offline  
Old May 5th, 2016, 10:16 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,949
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow.

I keep mine in a special passport holder - has a plastic see-through cover, but the rest is heavy fabric and zipped shut. I only take it out when I need to present it to immigration or security. I don't do that so much to protect the passport, but because it has a shoulder strap, and I keep it cross-body the entire time I am in transit to make sure I don't lose it. I guess the unintended consequence is that it is protected from wear and tear. I've traveled extensively, and never had any issues.
scdreamer is offline  
Old May 10th, 2016, 03:49 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,943
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is a four year old post.
fmpden is offline  
Old May 15th, 2016, 05:50 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
scdreamer, have you ever had a immigration officer at Passport Control or the like, NOT make you take it out of the protective sleeve, since it is see through? Just curious.

For the heck of it, I was coming back from ANOTHER flight a week ago, from Vegas to Boston. I went to the international desk at American, was like 5am, and said ok perfect time to ask this. I went right to the ticket counter, and said, 'I am flying you in August to Rio for the Olympics, this is my passport and its condition, would I have any issue, say with you, when I presented it to get my boarding pass. She didnt even look inside, she saw the INTACT but heavily used cover, and 'said nope, not a chance.'

Things are getting hectic.
KHP101 is offline  
Old May 15th, 2016, 05:53 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
fmpden,

uhhh, and your comment is relevant to whom exactly; your own ego? The original post and its comments and my recent experiences to share with the travel community are incredibly important and accurate to the discussion; therefore the date range of the initial posting in regards to this subject matter is irrelevant, as is your own comment.
KHP101 is offline  
Old May 15th, 2016, 06:53 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 7,943
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I apologize. Should have stated that the posting was 3 yrs, 5 months, and 26 days old. With your attitude I am sure you made the SWest agent's day.
fmpden is offline  
Old May 18th, 2016, 07:56 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,949
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
KHP101 - No, I always remove the passport from its sleeve when I need to show it. I was only commenting on the protective carrier because I believe it has kept my much-used passport from being creased or folded or otherwise damaged, as it might be if I put it in my pocket or carried it tossed in a bag.

Best wishes you will have no problems!

(fmpden - sometimes if you are doing a search for a particular issue, you may end up resurrecting an older thread. That doesn't mean a current situation is not relevent)
scdreamer is offline  
Old May 19th, 2016, 05:41 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FWIW I find KHP's post interesting and fmp's totally... er... not so interesting. Plato wrote more than 2400 years ago and people still read him and find it interesting.

Heard a similar story from a friend who keeps his passport in the backpocket of his jeans. Passport looks quite battered, and yes, that means frequent 'challenges' but he always went through. However taking care of your passport helps.

I've never used a cover.
Whathello is offline  
Old Jun 28th, 2016, 08:26 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Just returned from a month in Europe. Flew from Boston to Paris, via Iceland. Skipped the desk entirely, by using mobile boarding passes, which I did not think was allowed 'leaving' the US via any carrier. (Evidently, Southwest is the only carrier I know of, where you MUST check in for international flights via the desk). So by checking in online and using a mobile pass, I skipped every single counter person, on 6 different airlines in and around Europe. The only time I had to show my passport was to the gate agent, who simply looked at it for 2 seconds.

Southwest was the issue. My passport was fine, and all all customs stops, Passport Control, never said a word in any country. Just throwing some updates on in regards to previous. This trip was Paris, (for French Open), Normandy Beaches, (for D-Day Anniversary), Bayeux (by bike from Omaha Beach), Overnight Ferry from Caen France to Portsmouth UK (was grilled by UK Customs when I told them I was flying from Stansted south), Portsmouth to London (Queen Mum's bday), London to Stansted (worst airport ever been to in many aspects), EasyJet to Baleric Islands, (Ibiza), Camped for a week on Ibiza, Ryan Air through to Rome (Ciampino Airport), Vatican city and Rome tourist trap stuff, Ryan Air few days later to Brussels for 40 Euro, Intercity train to Amsterdam and North to Spaamwood for a festival, and then a flight from Schiphol AMS to Lisbon to Boston for 198.99 Last minute LOL. What a time to fly and see the world for less than a night out in your own town.
KHP101 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
limecamp
Europe
1
Mar 14th, 2018 02:42 PM
HImom
Europe
9
Apr 3rd, 2010 05:12 AM
janellelewis
Cruises
6
Mar 12th, 2004 10:21 AM
Ira
Europe
14
Dec 17th, 2002 09:15 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:24 AM.