One of the most common problems with regards to travel documents, especially to those who travel a lot, is the wearing of passports which can be due to frequent usage, water exposure and other mishaps. Once your passport shows obvious signs of heavy wear and noticeable damages, you have to replace it as it will no longer be valid to be used for travels or for identification purposes. Severely damaged passports can be a cause for a person to be denied entry on a plane or to a country, so, before this happens, better replace your passport prior to traveling.
Here is a comprehensive guide on how to replace severely damaged passports, information on what to do and the documents needed, the process, and other important things such as expediting services for replacement of damaged passports for faster process.
Damaged Passport Replacement – Eligibility
Your passport will be considered “mutilated” by the US State Department if it is obviously damage. Again, just like the initial process in new passport application, you have to re-establish your identity and US Citizenship. The following are considered severe damages:
- The cover of the passport is torn or cut
- The cover of the passport has already fallen off
- If any on the internal pages has been cut, peeled up or torn
- The information page or the photo lamination has peeled off
- Damages caused by water, moist or molds in the internal pages or the ink has run making words unreadable.
For passports with poor condition caused by the factors mentioned above, an early request for replacement can be done rather than waiting for your document to be totally mutilated which has another process, minor damages are the following:
- The cover the passport has curled or worn out
- The cover of the passport is bent or creased
- There has been damaged by water, moist or mold but the writings are still legible
Step-by-Step Guide to Replace Stolen Passport
- Prepare all documents.
- US Citizenship proof – original or certified long form birth certificate or an expired passport (if any) as long as there is not much difference in your physical appearance
- DS-11 Passport Application Form – completely filled out at https://pptform.state.gov/ and printed
- Letter addressed to the US State Department explaining how the damages came out and the factors that caused it. It must be signed personally using a black or blue ink
- One Passport Photo
- Front and back photocopy of driver’s license or any ID issued by the state to prove identity
- For expedited damaged passport application, proof of travel plans is needed with date of departure indicated
- Replacement fee for your stolen passport- two checks are needed, $110 for US State Department (additional $60 for expedited service for passport replacement) and another check; $35 for the Passport Acceptance Agent fee.
- Passport Acceptance Agent visit prior to submission.
Personally go to a Passport Acceptance Agent as this person needs to review your application and seal it in an official envelope (provided). There are also Passport Acceptance Agents at main US Post Offices or Clerk or Court Offices. Take note that some agents require an appointment therefore it is better to call first.
- Your passport can be processed in one of the following 3 ways:
- Via mail – this is the standard process wherein the sealed envelope will be sent by the Passport Acceptance Agent to the National Passport Center for processing.
- Through a Passport Agency – for expedite damaged passport replacement, major US cities have passport agencies where new passport can be processed on-site personally
- Through a Passport Expediting Company – another way to expedite a damaged passport replacement is to send the sealed envelope to a passport expediting company that is trustworthy and they will personally bring the application to a Passport Agency for faster processing in your behalf.
How to Expedite a Damaged Passport Replacement
The usual application for a new passport (including replacements) via mail can take up to 8 weeks; this is the standard application process and delivery. You can get your damaged passport replacement 2-3 weeks for expedited service by mail and is available with an additional $60 government fee. A Passport Agency or a passport expediting company can get your new passport as fast as 24 hours.
In the country, there are 26 offices that have Passport Agencies but you have to call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 for an appointment. A passport expediting company saves you the trouble of processing your replacement passport personally such as long lines and the likes.