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"Damaged" passport - define "Damaged"
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# 1
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TheAble
Old 25-07-2006, 2:01 AM
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Unhappy "Damaged" passport - define "Damaged"

Hi All

I really am in the dark with this and am hoping someone can help. My current passport still has 5 years to run, however it went through the wash recently and I am worried it may be considered "damaged". If anyone has any experience of this could you tell me if my passport sounds damaged and should I get a new one?

1) The gold emblem on the front is completely faded
2) The pages are wrinkled and all the stamps are faded and smudged

However

The photo page with all my details on is completely fine

Many thanks
Adam
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# 2
Katykat
Old 25-07-2006, 8:42 AM
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I think it depends on where you are going. eg; they rarely even check your passport if you travel to Europe and back, but I wouldn't try getting into USA with it. Would the passport website have any clarification on it? if not, phone them, and ask if there is a charge for replacing it. You might have to pay an admin charge, but you shouldn't have to pay full whack- or am I living in a dream world?
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# 3
black-saturn
Old 25-07-2006, 9:13 AM
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I would say it needs replacing. Some passport controls scan them now and this may not work now it's been in the wash. Renew it now before they charge goes up.
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# 4
Barcode
Old 25-07-2006, 9:17 AM
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It does not matter about the front cover. The lettering on mine faded about two years ago and I've made countless trips since then. It is the DATA PAGE that is the crucial thing. The issue is not damage per se, but whether it looks like it could have been tampered with.

As long as it is machine readable, with the other details legible, and the laminate is still covering the photo, you should be fine. But without seeing it, it's hard to tell.

Where is your next trip? If it's somewhere long-haul, I would not be inclined to risk it due to the expense incurred if it is rejected at immigration. Especially America, where border controls are becoming very, very strict.

My advice: You will PROBABLY be o.k. But for peace of mind, you should renew it. If you need to do it quick, you can get an appointment in two weeks for a same day or one week service.

Mine has started peeling at the corners, it's also a bit creased. Never had any problems. I bought one of those clear, perspex passport covers and most immigration officers don't even need to remove it to scan (but it can be if they need to inspect it further). That's an inexpensive solution you might want to consider if the data page is fine.
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# 5
hjb123
Old 25-07-2006, 9:27 AM
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I would renew it to be on the safe side - there would be nothing worse than thinking its okay, getting to the airport only to be told you cant fly!

Besides get the renewal in before the price hike in October
Weight Loss - 102lb
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# 6
Murphy_The_Cat
Old 25-07-2006, 9:44 AM
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& if you renew it, it'll be good for another 10 years (rather than the 5 that it has/may have left)

MTC




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# 7
UnitedFlyer
Old 25-07-2006, 10:22 AM
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My passport ended up going through a "wash" - well more like a tropical rainstorm in Tahiti.
Everything got smudged/faded, and the back page is blue now!
However, the machine can still read the numbers at the bottom no problem, and I've been to USA no end of times with it like this, no one even asks about it.
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# 8
TheAble
Old 25-07-2006, 7:49 PM
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Thnaks so much for all the replies guys, much appreciated. The data page is absolutely pristine so I'm guessing I may be ok. And I'm only going to Faro so that's another positive.

Thanks to Barcode for the perspex cover suggestion, that sounds good to me.

Adam
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# 9
jammybunn
Old 25-07-2006, 8:12 PM
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think i can help here since i deal with them everyday, if its been through the wash- its damaged, full stop... every page is a security feature and if the pages look faded and the edges are "wavey" then its damaged and you need to replace it... if anyone has any questions regarding passports please feel free to pm me and ill get back to you asap
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# 10
barron
Old 25-07-2006, 8:58 PM
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Hi,
Renew it, alot of my clients do it at the P.O.
7-10 day turnaround,costs a bit more,but at least you know the p/works done properly.
Happy Hols

ps Im not bothered,but others like the thank button !!
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# 11
jammybunn
Old 25-07-2006, 9:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barron
Hi,
Renew it, alot of my clients do it at the P.O.
7-10 day turnaround,costs a bit more,but at least you know the p/works done properly.
Happy Hols

stop right there, the post office is not the way to go, they charge you just to check you have filled in the right sections and got the right documents- they cant examine it and they cant guarantee that 7-10 day t/round... that is a target turnaround time. and believe me- its gettin busy at the mo, im booked in for a few days overtime. if you are looking at posting, then dont waste money with post office, just post it, but ensure you have 3/4 weeks
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# 12
barron
Old 25-07-2006, 9:11 PM
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Hi Jammy,
Not knocking what you say,you know what your on about,but exactly what i said they charge for making sure the right paperwork is enclosed.
For a bit extra I would be more happy knowing the p/work was correct,than ending up you guys writing back and forth.
4 clients and families in past 3 weeks have used P.O.
One for same reasons above,put in covering letter as well explaining how it happened.
All got them back within 10 days.
Nuff said,not an expert just going by experiance.
But will defo use your experiance if needed.
Happy Hols
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# 13
jammybunn
Old 25-07-2006, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barron
Hi Jammy,
Not knocking what you say,you know what your on about,but exactly what i said they charge for making sure the right paperwork is enclosed.
For a bit extra I would be more happy knowing the p/work was correct,than ending up you guys writing back and forth.
4 clients and families in past 3 weeks have used P.O.
One for same reasons above,put in covering letter as well explaining how it happened.
All got them back within 10 days.
Nuff said,not an expert just going by experiance.
But will defo use your experiance if needed.
Happy Hols
sorry if i sounded a bit nasty there, i know the PO are only doing there job but the letters that get sent out are usually (80%) for things that the PO cant detect and that is countersignatorys. plus its just that we get a number of people coming into the counter saying " the post office told us we would have it by blah blah". now I know most of you dont do that but there are a few, and that causes grief frustration and missed travel, plus as this is a saving board i thought id save them £7..
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# 14
RedBooties
Old 26-07-2006, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy_The_Cat
& if you renew it, it'll be good for another 10 years (rather than the 5 that it has/may have left)
Just to add to this, for what it's worth, the passport office will add up to 9 months of the remaining validity from an existing passport onto the new one, if applying for a renewal or an update.

Not a whole lot in comparison to five years, but every little helps I guess; I had 7 years left on mine when I had to apply for a renewal :rolleyes:

As for the level of damage, sorry I can't be much help there, but I think as others have said, so long as the data page is in good nick it should be fine. Might be worth calling the passport office to make sure though, if for nothing other than the peace of mind.
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# 15
jammybunn
Old 26-07-2006, 8:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBooties
Just to add to this, for what it's worth, the passport office will add up to 9 months of the remaining validity from an existing passport onto the new one, if applying for a renewal or an update.

Not a whole lot in comparison to five years, but every little helps I guess; I had 7 years left on mine when I had to apply for a renewal :rolleyes:

As for the level of damage, sorry I can't be much help there, but I think as others have said, so long as the data page is in good nick it should be fine. Might be worth calling the passport office to make sure though, if for nothing other than the peace of mind.

please see one of my previous posts, i work for the ppt office and it is damaged if its been through the wash, the bio page is irrellivant
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# 16
lancsman
Old 26-07-2006, 8:57 PM
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Quote:
they rarely even check your passport if you travel to Europe and back,
I thought that having been to France several times in the past few years and Barcelona the year before last. However we have just come back from Berlin and the German passport control thoroughly checked the passport both going in and coming out. They used a scanner too which suggest they were looking for fakes.

Even the passport control at Nottingham airport took a few seconds to look at them when we came back. That must be a record for a UK passport control desk

D
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# 17
jonesMUFCforever
Old 26-07-2006, 10:03 PM
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The imprtant information is on the laminated (page with picture on).
If you are friendly terms with your local bank you could ask them to put it through their security lamp to see if the water marks are undamaged.
As other posters have advised if going to USA I would get a definite answer from the Passport Office.
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# 18
my2234
Old 28-08-2008, 1:52 AM
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Default Dog eared passport policy of Thomas Crook

My passport never went near the wash, all the pages were in good condition, everything was totally legible. The corners of the laminated page were a bit dog eared and after the Thomas Cook check in staff had finished “examining” it you could just see the very tip of the bottom left hand of the picture. This according to them makes it damaged to an extent where they would not allow me to go on the flight to Spain. I think they are getting tougher because passports are now read by machines rather than just examined by humans.
So what is the result :-
  1. A replacement fast track passport at a whopping £114.
  2. Loss of as many days of my holiday as it takes them to find an alternative flight because they refuse to change the date of the return flight.
  3. An extra payment to them of £70 as they are now supposedly doing me a favour by getting me a standby flight, if a spare seat comes up which they can't otherwise sell 24 hours prior to departure.
Do I feel ripped off ? Yes I do as they did part of the damage to the passport. Even though I offered indemnify them against the £2500 fine they said they would have to pay if I was not allowed into Spain they still would not me fly. Frankly I think the passport was OK and have seen ones that were in much worse condition.
But when the people that make extra money are also the people that decide if the passport is damaged I would say it is hard to win. As far as I am aware there are no guide lines on what constitutes a damaged passport. Certainly my 8 year old UK passport was not fit for purpose as it is supposed to be carried with you at all times and was never designed to stand up to wear and tear of being used on extended periods abroad.
I would like any advice or thoughts from other members of the forum.


Mainly I post this as a warning to all of you that it is an unfair system open to abuse by any unscrupulous travel operator.
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# 19
BernadetteN
Old 28-08-2008, 9:35 AM
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Nearly every UK passport control point now uses scanners and 99.9% of passports now have to go through these scanners which read the smart chips and the mahcine readable code and also the entire data page. It's a fallacy to say no[one looks at passports when travelling to the UK.

Personally, I'd change the passport, as you are only losing 4 years and 3 months validity and that's really no much money in comparison to how much people spend on their overseas holidays. If the passport is damaged as described, you risk being refused entry to any country in the world, including Portugal, because the passport is damaged.

Personally I'd also neve use the PO service as they are only verifying the form is filled in correctly and correct accompanying documents are submitted. It's more cost effective to seek advice from IPS helpline (use saynoto0870.com if necessary) than pay the PO money to help you. Many people wrongly assume that the PO service is faster - it's not and your application goes in the post the same speed as an application form you post yourself. With 6 passports to renew, we have renewed 11 times in the last 12 years. We have had passports back in the post on average 10 days later - one was recently held up because the person processing it at IPS insisted on seeing our original marriage certificate and phoned us to tell us (I never changed name so the kids have a different surname from me) despite having seen it 5 years earlier, and still we had the renewed passport back in less than 14 days.

Last edited by BernadetteN; 28-08-2008 at 9:41 AM.
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# 20
jammin
Old 28-08-2008, 9:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BernadetteN View Post
Nearly every UK passport control point now uses scanners and 99.9% of passports now have to go through these scanners which read the smart chips and the mahcine readable code and also the entire data page. It's a fallacy to say no[one looks at passports when travelling to the UK.
EU citizens don't even need a passport to enter the UK. British citizens do (unless they're entering from Ireland), but a British passport is usually not scanned, and is likely to be glanced at by an immigration officer, but nothing more.
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