Your passport is one of the most important documents you have. It allows you to travel internationally and proves your identity. If your passport is damaged, you must replace it as soon as possible. One way to manage emergency travel in such situations is by having multiple passports. If you are a United States citizen, a Canadian, or a United Kingdom citizen, you can apply for a second passport in emergencies.
Read more: How Many Passports Can You Have?
Replacing a damaged passport is a relatively simple process. However, it does require some preparation. Here’s what you need to know.
Eligibility for Damaged Passport Replacement
If you need to replace a damaged, lost, or stolen passport, you first should check your eligibility for renewal. You must meet some criteria to qualify for a replacement passport. In general, you must prove that:
• You are a U.S. citizen and currently reside in the United States.
• The damaged passport is valid or expired less than five years ago.
• You are the same person who applied for and received the damaged passport.
• Your name has remained the same, or you can provide a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order showing any changes to your name since the issuance of the passport.
• The damaged passport was issued within the past 15 years in your current name or last name, shown on the supporting legal document above.
• You are not otherwise ineligible for a U.S. passport due to criminal convictions, outstanding debts, child support obligations, etc.
Passports that can be renewed include:
a) The internal pages are still intact, with no water damage.
b) The passport is not torn or otherwise shapeless.
c) The edges of the passport are intact.
d) The passport has not been severely mutilated or altered.
Some types of damages that may render a passport ineligible for replacement include:
• Water damage
• Fire damage
• Mold damage or any other type of physical alteration.
If your damaged passport meets all the above criteria, you may be eligible to apply for a passport renewal instead of applying for a new one.
Steps To Follow When You Need To Replace a Damaged Passport
The process is relatively straightforward when it comes to replacing a damaged passport. However, some necessary steps must be followed if you want your application to be approved quickly and successfully. These include:
a) Gather the Documents
The primary step is to gather all the documents you need. These include a DS-11 passport application form, birth or naturalization certificate, and other supporting documents.
You will also need valid government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, state ID card, etc.). Make sure that all of these documents are in good condition.
b) Visit a Passport Acceptance Facility
The next step is to visit a passport acceptance facility in your area. This could be a post office, court, or other government agency. The staff at the passport acceptance facility will review your documents and make sure they are valid. They will then issue you an acceptance receipt that you must include with your application.
c) Submit Your Application
Once you have the acceptance receipt, it’s time to submit your application. You can do this online or in person at a passport agency. Ensure you include all the documents mentioned earlier and that they are correctly filled out and signed.