A passport can be damaged in any number of ways. It happens more easily than you may think. A person can come home from a long trip and accidentally leave the passport in clothing that gets put in the washing machine or a passport gets left on the table where your having a glass of water and in reaching for your glass you tip it over pouring water all over your passport. There are a number of ways in which a passport can be accidentally to intentionally damaged. The problem is that once it is damaged you should look to obtain a new passport rather than risk travel.
We have received many a call from a traveler stuck at the airport not able to fly because the airline would not let them due to what they believe is damage to the passport. In many of these cases, the traveler knows the passport is damaged but they believe that since the damage is “minimal” they feel that they can get by. They are overlooking one inherent problem with that line of thinking. The problem is that they are banking on the fact that since their passport is in their name and they have it in their possession that logically the immigration officer or airline official will allow you to go through. This line of thinking can cause you to miss your trip.
It is important to remember that by going to the airport with a damaged passport you are putting your trip in the hands of an official or officer who is trained to verify your passport and make sure that you are who you say you are. The official/officer’s obligation is to his job and his country’s immigration policies not to you the traveler. If the officer cannot verify your passport or feels that the damage makes it so that they cannot accept your passport they will deny you. If that means you miss your trip so be it. Often there will be no refund. By accepting this cold and hard truth you will be better off in dealing with this situation.
If your passport has water damage or has been chewed on by your dog, regardless of whether it was intentional or not, the passport has now been altered from the original state and must now be considered damaged. Obtaining a new passport should be your top priority if you plan to travel again in the near future. You may do so by going through your county clerk’s office if you want to do regular processing in 4-6 weeks or through rush processing in 3 weeks. If you need it back faster than you can use a service or go directly to a Passport Agency nearest you. For further information on how to rush your passport through a service please visit our website at http://www.passportsvisasandmore.com or call us 888-336-0683.