What Do I Do If My Passport has Water Damage?

Most things that get wet can be salvaged or repaired, but what do you do if your passport has water damage? A passport that has water damaged can not be used and must be replaced. If it is damaged at home, you must replace it before you travel. If it becomes damaged while you are traveling, you will probably have to get it replaced before you can travel back home.

There are different ways a passport can become damaged. For example, it might get damaged after you have a major storm or some type of flood in your home. This can cause your important documents, such as passports, social security cards, and birth certificates to become damaged.

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If this happens, it’s already a stressful time for you. There may be other types of damage within your home, including property and structural damage. You will want to get it resolved as quickly and easily as possible. Here are the steps  you should follow.

To replace a damaged passport, you need:

  1. The damaged U.S. passport
  2. A signed statement explaining the damage
  3. Form DS-11 (Application for U.S. passport)
  4. Citizenship evidence*  (e.g. birth or naturalization certificate)
  5. A photocopy of citizenship evidence
  6. Present ID (in person)
  7. A photocopy of ID
  8. One passport photo
  9. Fees

Children under 16 must apply in person with both parents. (See Children Under 16 for more information.)

If you are a U.S. citizen overseas and need to replace your lost or damaged passport contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. They will be able to point you in the right direction for replacing your passport so that you can travel back home.

Of course, preventing the water damage in the first place is always preferred to replacing your passport. While not impossible to do, it can be time consuming.

If you want to prevent your passport from getting water damage like this, consider storing it and other important paper documents in a waterproof, fireproof safe or lock box.