Help! My dog ate my passport!

As most travelers know, life is full of unpredictable moments. Many times the hiccups we experience while traveling are the stories that make the trip memorable. But what happens when something bad happens before the trip? What happens if your dog chews on your passport? What happens if your dog eats your passport? Can you travel with a damaged passport? Find out what you need to do to replace a damaged passport.

Help! My dog ate my passport!

Any damage to your passport can ruin a potential trip. The U.S. Department of State and all immigration officials take passport damage very seriously. If your dog chewed on the corner of one page of your passport, that may still be enough damage for your passport to be considered ‘invalid’. Simply yelling, ‘Help! My dog ate my passport!’ will not fix this issue. You will need to replace your passport immediately.

A routine passport replacement can take up to six weeks or longer. Fortunately, for those that need a passport faster, you can use a private expediting service or you can contact your closest Regional Passport Agency. If you are abroad and your passport is damaged, you should go to your closest embassy or consulate.

What if my dog only chewed on my passport?

There really isn’t any way to get official verification that your passport will be accepted by the border agents. If you have any doubts about the condition of your passport, you should seek to replace it immediately. When you replace your damaged passport, you should also include a letter explaining the damage. You may also want to include a request that your original damaged passport be returned to you. Many travelers keep their old passports as a keepsake or memory of the visas and stamps accrued.

Help! My Passport has some minor wear and tear!

Regular wear and tear may not mean you need to replace your passport. While there is no official description of what constitutes wear and tear, your passport will usually have some minor wear marks after a few trips abroad. We highly recommend keeping your passport in a safe place at all times. Invest in a passport protector case and try to make sure you aren’t leaving your passport in your pocket or luggage unprotected. If you do feel your passport is starting to show signs of heavy use, you may want to renew it or replace it before your next trip.

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