Detailed Guide To Replace Your Damaged US Passport

Replacing a damaged passport is always a source of worry to most people, irrespective of the cause of the damage.

It’s a fact that passports can get damaged in the event of a fire, the aftermath of a storm, or any mishap you can think of.

While this is true, knowing that you can get a replacement without so much hassle can be soothing to the otherwise disturbing news of a damaged passport.

This article will walk you through the easy steps you need to follow to replace a damaged passport, as well as provide other relevant information. Jump in!

READ MORE: Biometric Passport: All You Need To Know

What is Considered a Damaged Passport?

The US State Department will classify a seriously damaged passport as “mutilated.” This implies that you will need to re-prove your US citizenship in order to get a replacement for the damaged one.

These are a few instances of such serious harm:

  • The passport cover has tears or cuts on it
  • The passport cover is missing
  • Any internal page that has been removed, chopped, or torn
  • The lamination on the photo/information page has come off
  • The information or photo page has water damage and mould or the ink has run

You might be eligible to request an early passport renewal rather than going through the entire mutilated passport replacement procedure if your passport is in bad shape owing to excessive wear or mild water damage

Minor damage that might need an early passport renewal includes:

  • The margins of the passport page are torn or twisted
  • My passport cover is crumpled or twisted
  • Despite a little water damage, the text and images are still legible

Can You Replace a Damaged Passport?

Yes. You can replace a damaged passport. Once a passport gets damaged, you need an urgent replacement. A damaged passport can’t serve its purpose, which is primarily for identification. Hence, the need to initiate the process of getting another one.

What Happens if I Damage My Passport?

Having a damaged passport is often a nightmare since certain incidents are out of one’s control. In the event of being in possession of a damaged passport, you will be in for some travel restrictions.

The consequence of showing up with a damaged passport in hand should be left imagined. You wouldn’t want to be that passenger denied entry into a country or boarding a plane on this basis.

In a nutshell, having a passport with severe damage is detrimental to traveling, especially if you are one of those who tour the world very often.

How Do I Replace My Destroyed Passport?

Replacing a passport that is no longer in good condition is quite simple. When applying to replace a damaged passport, you need to provide documents. Failure to provide these documents will result in a delay in the process.

The following are the necessary documents when replacing a damaged passport:

  • A completed DS-11 Form
  • Damaged passport
  • A statement explaining the damage
  • Proof of Citizenship
  • Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Identity
  • Photocopy of Driver’s License or State-issued ID
  • One passport-size photo

The next step after providing the relevant information as contained in the documents is to proceed with paying the passport fees.

Once done, make your way to a passport office or an acceptance facility with all the necessary documentation.

How Fast Can I Replace a Damaged Passport?

If you need to renew your passport urgently, you may either go to a Passport Agency in person or work with a passport expediting company.

If you prefer to apply in person, call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment at one of the 26 Passport Agencies around the country.

Passport expediting services may also provide you with an expedited passport renewal in as little as 7 business days, without requiring you to book an appointment or attend in person.

Can I Replace My Passport Online?

Absolutely! You can replace your passport by mail. However, replacing your passport via mail requires a 4-6 week processing period and an additional $60 in government fees.

Do I Need My Old Passport to Get a New One?

Of course! You need your old passport to get a new one. You need to provide your old passport as one of the documents while applying for a replacement.


Coming home to find a damaged passport or losing a passport in any mishap you can think of isn’t the end of your journey by air. The good news is that you can get a replacement without breaking much of a sweat.

We hope you found this exposition on how to replace your damaged passport useful.

READ MORE: What Documents Do I Need For a Passport?


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