To Renew A Damaged US Passport You Need To Start Over

by erin on February 15, 2011

To avoid travel delays, you should renew a damaged US passport as soon as possible. Just about every country in the world is requiring strict adherence to new security measures brought about by all of the recent terrorism activity. Airline travel in the United States requires that you arrive at the airport two hours prior to your flight. It can take this much time to get through all of the security checkpoints. Having your documents in order will save you some of this time.

The more a person travels outside of the US, the more their passport will be used. This constant use will result in the everyday wear and tear that many things are subject to. In many cases this is not an issue but when it comes to travel documents, security and border agents want to see perfection. A worn and smeared document can be easily altered and if that is suspected, you could be detained.

Getting a new passport is an individual decision. There have been no guidelines set forth to help a person to decide when the time is right. The best thing to do is to examine your document from time to time and be aware of any changes brought about by overuse. This could be pages that have torn or writing that has become illegible due to smudges or any other damage. Old passports are the ones that most easily altered and security agents are always on the watch for these. Afford your travel documentation as much protection as you can.

If replacement becomes inevitable, you need to prepare just as you did when you first applied. Even in cases of renewal, items cannot be mailed and you must appear at whatever agency is able to handle your request. You can pick up the necessary applications there or print them off your computer. If you have access to a computer, it is a good idea to put in all the required information before printing the forms. This guarantees legible entries that are clear and easy to read. All signatures are only applied when you are appearing in front of the administering agent.

You will have to prove your US citizenship with a certified birth certificate. If you happen to have been born outside of the US, naturalization papers will suffice. There are some instances where other papers may be needed. This is fully explained on the government website that deals with passports. Each and every paper that you bring in has to be copied and again there are certain requirements to follow for these copies to be accepted.

A full frontal view photo is another requirement. If you are unable to take one of your own, there are any number of photographers that can perform the task for a nominal fee. These photos also have to be sized no larger than two by two inches as they need to fit within your new passport. It is not a bad idea to bring more than one photo with you to be assured that you have one that falls within the standards set.

The cost of a renewal is the same as the cost of a new passport. Consider it money well spent if it means your easy admission into another country. The many acts of terrorism that have been perpetrated around the world are the reason behind all the strict new laws that have been put in place by governments everywhere. Don’t travel with a passport that is in need of repair. It can be cause for detainment and many questions asked by a border agent.

Having chosen to renew a damaged US passport will take about six weeks for the new one to arrive by mail at your home. If you are a constant traveler, don’t wait until your present document is in question to have it replaced. You could face refusal for leaving or reentering the country. It hardly seems fair to have all these restrictions in place when all you wish to do is get on about your business. Our government is not trying to punish its citizens but rather keep them from harm.

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