I washed my passport by accident. It's dry now, and all of the pages are still readable. I compared it to my sister's passport, and it looks exactly the same only that the pages aren't as flat and some of the writing on the front cover has begun to come off.

I have an appointment to apply for a Schengen Visa in a few days. Will I still be able to use my passport?

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    is it a smart passport (with chip)? Is the chip still readable? – Mark Mayo Dec 12 '19 at 3:53
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    and what country are you from? – Mark Mayo Dec 12 '19 at 3:54
  • @MarkMayoSupportsMonica I've never seen any requirement for biometric passports that stated that the chip actually had to work. Travelers mostly aren't in a position to test it, and even if they are, there's no guarantee that the chip won't be ruined during the trip. – phoog Dec 12 '19 at 4:38
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    @phoog there are plenty of apps (on Android at least) to test it (I've scanned mine - interesting side note, my photo is in black and white, but on the chip data it's in colour!). But I just figured it was worth a shot to find out how damaged it was. – Mark Mayo Dec 12 '19 at 5:28
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    @MarkMayoSupportsMonica I conjecture that the number of travelers who (a) have smartphones and (b) know that smartphones can do this is below 50%. On top of that, I could never read my previous US passport using the same hardware and software that did read my Dutch passport (albeit with some difficulty). No border officer ever told me one way or the other whether the chip in the US passport worked, but I suspect that it did and my phone just had trouble with it. So having a phone that fails to read your passport chip doesn't actually establish that the chip is broken with any certainty. – phoog Dec 12 '19 at 5:36

You should have the passport checked to insure that it is not damaged, otherwise it may be rejected.

Better to do this now while you still have time to get a replacement.

4. Definition of a damaged passport
A damaged passport is one which isn’t in a condition to be accepted as proof of identity. Damage may include the following:

  • details are indecipherable
  • the laminate has lifted enough to allow the possibility of photo substitution
  • discolouration to the bio-data page
  • chemical or ink spillage on any page
  • missing or detached pages
  • the chip or antenna shows through the end paper on the back cover for the new style e-passports
  • the chip has been identified as damaged after investigation


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