Category: Passport Issues

Help! When Should I Update My Passport Photo?

You’re getting ready for the vacation of a lifetime.

You’ve packed your bags, booked a dreamy hotel room, and you’re ready to leave your desk and the drama that comes with it behind for a few weeks.

The only thing left to really consider?

Whether or not you need to update passport photos. After all, you were going through some interesting hair and style choices when you first had the photos taken. You’re worried that the old passport photo doesn’t look like you.

So, when should you update your passport photo — and how long is a passport good for, anyway?

Keep on reading this post in order to find out everything that you need to know.

How Long Is a Passport Good For?

First of all, let’s get some basics out of the way regarding passport laws first.

Your passport will be good for ten years — though if you’re planning to travel to certain countries, you’ll need to be certain that your passport doesn’t expire within six months of your travel date.

If you need to renew a passport, you can use the DS-82 form and mail it to the National Passport Processing Center.

Be aware, however, that you’ll need to provide a new photo whenever you renew your passport. If you’ve changed your name, you’ll also need to complete name change documents and include them with your passport application.

You’ll also need to mail in your old passport — but don’t worry, you’ll get it back.

The main drawback to this method?

The long processing times.

You can expect a standard passport renewal to take four to six weeks. If you’re in a time crunch, sometimes this just isn’t going to work.

Luckily, we can help you apply for an emergency passport that could get you renewed in as little as 24 hours.

Related Read: How Much Does it Cost to Get a Passport?

When Should I Update My Passport Photo?

Let’s make one thing clear about passport photos right out of the gate.

You need to understand that you can’t just switch up your old passport photo and paste a new one into your passport.

If you want to change your picture, then, unfortunately, you’ll have to apply for a completely new passport.

But when do you need to update your passport photo?

The good news is that the State Department is surprisingly more understanding than you might initially expect.

For example, if you’ve switched up the length or the color of your hair, this won’t require you to get a new passport altogether. The same goes if you’ve decided to get rid of your beard or gotten a new piercing on your face or ear.

Even if you’ve gotten a tattoo on your neck, you most likely won’t need to update your passport photo.

Even children most likely won’t need to get new passport photos, even if the way they’ve grown means they look almost nothing like their old photos! Because children need to get their passports renewed every five years, the State Department offers leniency to your little ones.

But when is it truly necessary for you to update your passport photo — and therefore apply for a new passport altogether?

If you’ve lost — or even gained — a serious amount of weight?

Then you’ll likely need to apply for a new passport.

The same goes if you’ve gotten into an accident or even had plastic or reconstructive surgery that has completely changed the look of your face.

If you’ve been able to receive gender confirmation surgery since the last time your passport photo was taken? You’ll also need to make sure your photo has changed to reflect your journey.

Understanding Passport Photo Requirements

You know that your passport photo likely isn’t going to be a glamour shot.

And while you can still look good in your passport photo, the main thing is that you take care to follow all of the rules and regulations regarding how the photo should be taken.

First of all, your face needs to be in full view, and your eyes need to be open.

You can have a natural smile, but in most cases, a more neutral expression is the best way to go.

The background of your photo should be white or off-white, and the clothes that you wear should be solid-colored. To avoid any potential problems, do not wear a headband, hat, or any other hair accessory. (If your religion indicates that you must cover your hair, a hijab or headscarf is allowed. You’ll just need to submit a statement saying so.)

Be aware that you can’t wear glasses in your passport photo — this is a detail that many people get wrong!

Make sure that you have the photos printed out in 2 x 2-inch dimensions, and of course, make sure that you’ve printed your photos in color.

Let Us Help You to Update Passport Photo

We hope that this post has helped you to understand when you do and do not need to update passport photo.

Whether you need help understanding how to apply for an international drivers permit, or if you need to get an emergency passport, we’re here to help you.

We know that you’re terrified by the thought of losing or having to seriously adjust your travel plans. We’ll work with you to do everything that we can to prevent that from happening.

No matter what you need help with, get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you.

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 might 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.

Can you Travel with a Chew Up Passport?

No. A chewed-upon passport is considered invalid for travel, and you will not be allowed to board your flight or enter the country with a damaged passport. The Department of States considers a passport that is chewing up to be damaged and you will need to get a passport replacement to travel.

What if my dog only chewed on my passport?

There really isn’t any way to get official verification that the border agents will accept your passport. 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.


If you’ve experienced an unfortunate passport-eating incident like the one we just discussed, don’t panic! It is essential to contact the proper contacts and organizations as soon as possible and keep track of any paperwork or receipts that document your efforts to locate a replacement.

Ultimately, whether you end up needing a new passport or just experiencing a close call can depend on a variety of factors. Do all you can to mitigate potential risks by taking safety measures with your passport, such as carefully storing it away from curious mouths. However, if something happens, remember that help is out there!

Can You Get a Passport with IRS Debt?

Are you a US citizen struggling with taxes? Wondering if you can get a passport with IRS debt? Pay attention. Not keeping up with taxes can lead to serious consequences, like passport revocation. Stay informed to avoid disappointment on your next trip.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how failing to pay what the IRS owes them can affect US citizens and what legislation has been put into place as protection for travelers abroad.

Can You Get a Passport with IRS Debt?

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’re probably aware of the whereabouts of your passport at all times and the necessary steps to keep it valid. However, do you have the same level of knowledge about your tax obligations?

You must do, as the IRS has clarified that it intends to impose penalties on individuals with tax debts exceeding $59,000.00, including revoking passports or denying renewals. The IRS typically sends a warning letter to taxpayers at risk, but as many citizens can attest, international mail can be unreliable, and delays are common.

What debts aren’t certified by the State Department?

The following items are not considered seriously delinquent tax debts:

  • Child Support
  • Timely payment of debts through installment agreements approved by the IRS.
  • Settling Debts on time by having my Offer in Compromise accepted by the IRS.
  • Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Account (FBAR) penalties,
  • Settlement agreements entered into with the Department of Justice,
  • Debts for which a Collection Due Process Hearing regarding a levy to collect the debt has been timely manner. or
  • Those were suspended because of a request for innocent spouse relief.

The IRS does not provide certification for individuals with seriously delinquent tax debts who

  • If an account has been deemed “currently not collectible” due to financial hardship,
  • Currently have a pending request with the IRS.:
    • Installment agreement,
    • Offer in Compromise,
  • It has been determined that the individual has fallen victim to identity theft related to taxes.
  • Is in bankruptcy,
  • Is situated in an area that has been officially declared a disaster zone by the federal government or
  • The IRS has accepted the adjustment, which will completely fulfill their tax debt.


Failing to pay taxes can have severe consequences. Penalties like passport suspension and potential imprisonment are risks for non-compliant taxpayers. Tax companies offer payment plans and options to help with costs. Extensions and return amendments are also possible if needed.

Taking the necessary steps ahead of time can save you an immense amount of hassle further down the line when it comes to paying taxes. The best thing you can do is always ensure your annual taxes are paid on time, remain as up-to-date as possible with your filings, and remain compliant with federal laws. Doing so will ensure that no penalties occur and that you keep your US passport safe for future travels abroad.

The Passport Denial Program: Explained

Applying for a new or renewed passport can be a bit of a stressful time for everyone. You need to make sure that you have all of your paperwork in order and that everything is complete. Do this to avoid your big international trip can go off without delay.

Many people don’t realize that there are certain situations where you will absolutely be denied a passport. Reasons that go above and beyond simply include the wrong type of photo or filling out a form incorrectly. To understand why you might get denied a passport, you must first understand the Passport Denial Program.

What is the Passport Denial Program?

The Passport Denial Program is specifically designed to help states enforce child support-related obligations that people may have. If you owe over $2,500 in back child support, for example, you will be submitted to the Department of State’s Passport Denial Program, at which point the processing of your application will not go through.

The Passport Denial Program is part of the Federal Offset Program and was created in conjunction with the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement.

Can I Still Get a Passport In the Passport Denial Program?

If you feel you have fulfilled your child support obligations and were previously in the Passport Denial Program, don’t worry – hope is still there. Upon being submitted to the Passport Denial Program, the agency will hold your application for a period of 90 days.

The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement will then review your case during this period, at which point it will either be released or maintained. If you’re still in the Passport Denial Program after that period of time, you can not get your passport.

If you do find that the OCSE has released your case, the passport agency that you submitted your application through will mail your new or renewal passport to you within two to five business days.

The only situation where this may not be the case is if OCSE takes longer than 90 days. Even if you are deemed eligible to apply for and receive a passport, you must submit a new application.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

There are a few other things that you must be aware of. Especially when applying for a passport with child support obligations. Particularly if you are applying for a passport for the child in question at the same time.

The first is called the Two-Parent Consent Law. This means that you must prove that you have the authority to obtain a passport for the child. Especially if he or she is under the age of 14 years old. You should also be aware of the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. This means that the child’s legal guardian must be properly notified before a passport application gets approval.

If you’ve just been released from the Passport Denial Program and are worried that you may not receive your passport on time, you can always use an expedited passport service in your area. They can cut the normal processing time from ten to thirteen weeks. Depending on the area of the country where you live.


Make sure you are aware of all the requirements necessary to receive a passport for your child. Be informed and utilize expedited services if needed to ensure that you will have your passport in time for your travels. Good luck!

Everything You Need to Know About Passport Denial and Revocation: Reasons Your Passport Might be Rejected and How to Avoid It

Do you need to travel overseas but don’t know if your passport will get approved? This is the ultimate guide for everything you need to know about passport denial and revocation. We explain all of the possible reasons that your passport application may be denied, as well as steps you can take ahead of time to make sure it gets accepted.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just beginning to explore the world, this blog post provides important information on how passports work and what could go wrong.

Revocation or Limited of Passports (Federal Law)

It can be very difficult to have your U.S. passport denied or worse to have your passport revoked. There are, however, processes available to recover and restore a passport over time, should something limit your ability to possess one. Of course, not all situation is the same.

In some cases, individuals can not travel internationally for one reason or another. Traveling outside of the U.S. is a privilege that no one wants to lose, so treat the responsibility with respect.

The United States Department of State determines who is eligible to carry a passport through the application process. Citizens of all kinds must comply with their mechanisms to obtain legal and valid documentation. Monitoring how it is being used and by which citizens are the aim. This is also the department within the government that can deny or revoke your passport.

Revoking Your Passport by a Law Enforcement Agency

So, if a law enforcement agency wants to revoke your passport they could for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • There’s a warrant out for an arrest on a felony.
  • Lapsed child-support responsibilities
  • Charges pertaining to drug trafficking
  • Sexual tourism-related convictions

If you have had legal issues pertaining to any of the situations mentioned above, you may experience complications with your passport application. A third-party service may be able to expedite the process or at least manage the procedure through the proper channels for you.

These requirements are in place to protect the safety and reputation of all travelers leaving the country. Remember that while abroad, you are a representative of the U.S. How you behave is not only a reflection of your own expectation but can affect how others are perceived when traveling in foreign countries as well.


It is essential for travelers to understand the reasons for passport denial or revocation and the situations in which it might occur. Passport denial and revocation can be financially and emotionally devastating, so it is important to take every precaution possible to avoid it.

Paying attention to the minute details of a passport application, navigating certain challenges like payment issues and meeting deadlines should all be taken into account when applying for a passport.

What to Do If Your Passport Was Lost Or Stolen?

Are you panicking because your passport was lost or stolen? You are not alone; it can be a frightening experience to suddenly find yourself without the vital document that is required for international travel. Knowing what steps to take next can ease some of the stress and help get your passport—or another one if it cannot be recovered—replaced as quickly as possible.

In this blog post, we will provide you with all of the information you need to know about getting started on the road to obtaining a new official identity document when yours has gone missing.

One of those inconveniences that cause you more than a little hassle is a lost or stolen passport or having. If you are abroad, such a situation can cause a real interruption in your travels. Aside from needing to replace the document to get home, you have to be concerned about identity theft, especially if the thief also took any of your other identification and credit cards.

Reporting Your Stolen Passport

Once you have determined that your passport is stolen or it is physically taken from you, the first thing to do is immediately report the situation to the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate. Depending on your location, you can first call and report the stolen passport at 1-877-487-2778 (TTY 1-888-874-7793).

What to Do After Reporting My Passport as Stolen?

You will also have to complete Form DS-64: Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport at the local Embassy or Consulate. Make sure you keep a copy of this document. If you are not traveling, you can obtain the form online and mail it to the address in Washington, DC, indicated on the form.

If you are abroad, the Embassy or Consulate will be able to provide a temporary passport to get you back home. To permanently replace the stolen passport, you will need to go to or contact a Passport Agency or Acceptance Facility and take your Form DS-64 copy and complete a new Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport.

Important to Note

Reporting a passport lost or stolen immediately invalidates it. Because of that, it is no longer usable for travel. All the information on Form DS-64 goes into the international database for lost or stolen passports. This makes the passport unusable and you will need to apply for a new passport.

Take all the necessary steps to protect your identity with proper actions and notifications. If you are in an emergency and need to have your passport expedited U.S. Passport Help Guide recommends to it be expedited with National Passport Service. Fastport has been in business since 2010 and has an A+ with the BBB (Better Business Bureau).


Knowing what to do if your passport is lost or stolen can help to reduce any stress, potential problems, and delays while traveling. If you have proper documentation and follow the steps necessary in filing a police report, applying for a replacement, and obtaining travel documents from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, you’ll be more prepared for your future travels – domestic or abroad. Also, remember to make copies of all important documents while traveling, so that in case any of them get lost or stolen, they are easily retrievable and replaceable.

Finally, it is always wise to never keep important documents such as a passport on your person while traveling – keep them safe at home when possible, and utilize travel safety accessories like money belts or holders on trips when necessary.