Did you know that you cannot travel with a damaged passport?
Your GEMS have heard way too many stories lately from other travel advisors whose clients were denied boarding (and passport offices are really only taking in-person emergency appointments for life-or-death travel emergencies only), so we figured that a little PSA wouldn’t hurt!
“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. Damage that might require you to replace your passport includes water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch, or other injuries.
Normal “wear and tear” of a U.S. passport is expected and likely does not count as “damage.” For instance normal wear includes the bend of a passport after being carried in your back pocket or fanning of the visa pages after extensive opening and closing.”
(Source: Frequently Asked Questions (state.gov))
By the way, “unofficial markings” can include your child’s crayon drawings on the pages, “water damage” can include accidentally running it through the wash, and “missing pages” is exactly what it means (in case you ever tore out a square to spit out your gum – don’t laugh, it’s happened!)…
So…if you have travel planned, your GEMS have already advised you to check your passport (for expiration too…we’ll save those stories for another post), so if you haven’t….NOW is a great time!
If you are ready to start planning travel that requires a passport, how about we go ahead and check on it now…and if you need to apply for one (or renew one), well, we’ll just leave this right here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html