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    0 WOW
    Water Damage To Passport?
    • #1
    • 16th May 08, 7:26 AM
    0 WOW
    Water Damage To Passport? 16th May 08 at 7:26 AM

    Last night, my husband had his passport out as he is off for an interview today and stupidly (and I don't know how), he dropped it in a sink full of water!

    Dried it out overnight on the radiator, but the pages are water marked and on the photo page there is some bubbling, a small bubble has appeared on the photo.

    Can anyone tell me if the passport will still be able to be used, we are going on holiday to the USA in a month and the passport office advice line is £1 per minute, which is just ridiculous!

    Any little bit of advice would be appreciated.

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Page 1
    • olly300
    • By olly300 16th May 08, 8:28 AM
    • 14,300 Posts
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    • #2
    • 16th May 08, 8:28 AM
    • #2
    • 16th May 08, 8:28 AM
    I would try and get a new one to avoid any hassle.

    A friend of mine did something similar 2 years ago while away and managed to travel on his water damaged passport in the EU and Asia for about a year. However on the last occasion he used the passport when he flew back into the UK he was questioned by customs who told him to get a new passport as next time they may not allow him back into the country. (Brummie accents are useful for something.)

    With the states I wouldn't take that risk. They are strict on passports even if they are genuine, and the airline is the one that can stop you even taking off if they think there is going to be trouble with your passport.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 16th May 08, 8:35 AM
    • 55,938 Posts
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    • #3
    • 16th May 08, 8:35 AM
    • #3
    • 16th May 08, 8:35 AM
    I agree with Olly, it might be worth risking it for the European Union but I wouldn't risk it to the States as they are already very cautious about people entering.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move posts there. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of
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    • Crabman
    • By Crabman 16th May 08, 5:19 PM
    • 9,347 Posts
    • 6,776 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th May 08, 5:19 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 08, 5:19 PM
    Hi dexters_mum, I've moved this to the Travel Board.

    Take a look through the following threads for past information which may be useful:

    "Damaged" passport - define "Damaged"

    Water Damaged Passport

    Hi, Martin’s asked me to post this in these circumstances: I’ve asked Board Guides to move threads if they’ll receive a better response elsewhere(please see this rule) so this post/thread has been moved to another board, where it should get more replies. If you have any questions about this policy please email
    I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly & I can move & merge posts there. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of

    • benjus
    • By benjus 16th May 08, 6:27 PM
    • 4,399 Posts
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    • #5
    • 16th May 08, 6:27 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 08, 6:27 PM
    I had this problem a few years ago... caused some minor issues. An immigration official in Bolivia thought I'd cut out a page because one page had a sort of plastic laminate overlapping the previous page and this had come unstuck so it looked like a page had been removed. I managed to convince him there was nothing wrong with it and continued using it in South America. On return to the UK they looked disdainfully at it and asked what had happened to it. I later travelled within the EU on the same passport with no problems. In fact within the EU I am often not asked to show my passport to immigration officials at all.

    However, I would agree with previous posters that taking a chance with the US is not a good idea.

    By the way, according to this page: the passport advice line is 8p/min. I know we don't like 0870 numbers on here but it's not that bad...
  • mcduff16
    • #6
    • 16th May 08, 7:18 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 08, 7:18 PM
    Hi there

    I would get a new passport. This happened to one of my friends- they went to the passport office and showed the passport, the lady said they considered the passport "damaged and void", so they got a new passport.
    • El Rey
    • By El Rey 16th May 08, 10:39 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 89 Thanks
    El Rey
    • #7
    • 16th May 08, 10:39 PM
    • #7
    • 16th May 08, 10:39 PM
    I agree with everyone else - get a new passport. It is not as if you are travelling tomorrow so you have plenty of time to get a new one. It just isn't worth the risk.
    • Ms Chocaholic
    • By Ms Chocaholic 16th May 08, 10:54 PM
    • 8,049 Posts
    • 47,331 Thanks
    Ms Chocaholic
    • #8
    • 16th May 08, 10:54 PM
    • #8
    • 16th May 08, 10:54 PM
    Check on

    for alternative numbers

    Website link provided by Benjus indicates that passport line is open 24 hours
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  • hammy the hammer
    • #9
    • 18th May 08, 12:27 AM
    • #9
    • 18th May 08, 12:27 AM
    it will make no difference you will require a new passport
  • Tracey2609
    After watching reality shows like Airport, I think that you'd need a new passport. I know that it's not cheap, but at least it'll be valid for another 10 years...
    Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn - then always be a Unicorn !
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  • AWOL
    water damaged passport - around photo
    Hi, I wanted to share this story with everyone.
    My passport was damaged by some milton distinfectant leaking onto the back cover of my passport. The water out of the spay bottle was only slight however it managed to penetrate the passport and onto the back page of my passport.

    The water seeped through underneath my passort picture, the damage was obvious to me and anyone else i pointed it out to. It was a big burgandy baloon around my passport picture, however the laminate etc was all firmly in tact.

    I notice the damage two days before i was planned to fly to las vegas from gatwick airport. When i called the passport office they said any water damage to a passport makes it invalid and adviced me to get it replaced. However this would take 7 days, its only possible to renew a passport that is not damaged the same day! Crazy i know.

    I changed my story quickly and said it just needs renewing, the guy said if you take it to the passport office and they deem that the passport is damaged they will cut the corner and i would not be able to fly at all.

    I thought i have nothing to loose and would just risk it at the airport.
    I manged to check in fine, travel to the states... caught internal flights to san franciso airport from las vegas and back and then back into the uk.
    No one asked anyquestions at all.

    They ran their finger over the picture at one point, shines a UV light on the pic.. but never questioned me about it at all..

    I guess they didnt spot the waterdamage, like i said it was obvious.. before the flight i was getting mentally ready for the long drive back home as my friends fly off to vegas!!

    My advice would be if you can get the passport renewed that do that.. but if you cant then theres no harm in risking it! ( at your own risk )

    I have two years still to run on my passport, but will defeintly be renewing it before i travel again... i guess i was lucky... but cleared the states immigration with a water damaged passport so each case needs to be examined on a case by case basis.
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 17th Apr 09, 3:30 PM
    • 13,239 Posts
    • 6,053 Thanks
    If you do ring the passport office I'm sure they will play safe and tell you to renew. They are really not going to be able - over the phone - to say anything else.

    So use that phone call to make an appointment to renew.

    Don't forget to do a fresh ESTA for the Americans - it will be needed as the passport number will be different.
  • AWOL
    good point, the guys at the passport office were friendly and helpful. They are not allowed to advise us to risk it, as we would say they we were told it would be ok.

    Also they take the stance any water damage makes it invalid, its safer than trying to guess what the damage looks like over the phone right.

    I would have renewed my passport if i had 7 days... but these things happen .. it just made my holiday all the more enjoyable when i was there... half expected getting turned away
  • franklally
    I certainly wouldn't risk it. My bil got turned away by easyjet 2 years ago with a water damaged passport - it cost him a fortune to get one with an emergency passport interview to allow him to travel the same week. If you renew online it should be with you within the week.
  • Michelle2011
    New Style passport damaged by water
    I applied for a new passport in March 2011 in readiness for our summer holiday.
    We recently spent a week in Turkey and whilst away my son knocked over a bottle of water. I didn't realise that some water had spilled on my passport which was on the side.
    When we got to passport control in Turkey to return home to the UK I opened my passport to show my picture and my picture had more or less disappeared! I was so shocked but remembered the water incident and realised it must be down to that. I had to be taken into a side room (very embarrassing) and luckily I had my photo driving licence with me so was allowed to board the plane home.
    When we arrived at Bournemouth airport again I had to show my passport and I explained to the very friendly guy what had happened. He said I was very lucky that I was allowed to board the flight home and said he had never seen this happen before.
    I explained that myself and husband had recently renewed our passports but my son has an old style one which has a thick laminate across the photo to protect it. Our new ones do not have this which I think is terrible that it has totally damaged the photo. It was just abit of bottled water not been thrown into a swimming pool or anything like that!
    I don't really want to spend out again for another passport, has anyone else come across this problem? Would it be worth me writing a letter to the issuers of passport. Would they issue another FOC I wonder?
  • Bob the Saver
    I've heard of money laundering but............................
  • dyson1985
    my passport went through the washer
    Hello,, my passport has been through the washer the edges are all wrinkled but there is no damage to the photo page exept round the edges... do you think i can fly to turkey in july?
  • Bob the Saver
    After watching reality shows like Airport, I think that you'd need a new passport. I know that it's not cheap, but at least it'll be valid for another 10 years...
    Originally posted by Tracey2609
    Plus I think 9 months on top if there is that much left on the old one.

    I'm not talking about any of these posts, but I am always amazed how little care some people take with their passports, left in full view in cars, hanging out of pockets in airports, just left on the cabinet in hotel rooms etc. etc.
    If you were meant to put passports in a washing machine there would be a
    passport cycle on the dial.
    I know exactly where my passport is 100% of the time.
    Last edited by Bob the Saver; 14-06-2012 at 11:50 AM.
  • Judith_W
    PS - I thought the passport advice line was 0300 - like 01 or 02 number?
  • Janeyjaz
    0300 222 1000
    free helpline
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