I've been traveling for over 20 years. This is the first time my passport has accidentally taken a trip through the washing machine. I was so sad and even a bit upset at myself earlier today when I realized what I had done. What's done is done.

I spent half the day reading information. I also called the toll-free passport customer support number. I looked thoroughly at the process for getting a new passport during COVID times. I'll share what I found out today. I also want to get community feedback on the state of my passport and advice on what I should do.

Long story short.. I'm hoping to go overseas next month. I need my passport for going overseas. I'm not near any "passport center." I'm at least a few thousand miles away. When I called passport customer support today, I was told that all in-person appointments are taken anyways for the foreseeable future. It's unlikely that any would become available due to very limited appointments due to the COVID. OK.

The other option is to schedule at a USPS to submit my application. OK. I could do this. However, even if I spent an extra $60 (expeditated fee) + $18 (expedited shipping fee).. the wait times are still currently "8 - 10 weeks..." OK in my case that's too long.. but this seems to be the only plausible option available to me. The total cost will be $110 passport + $35 handler fee + $60 expedited fee + $15 passport photo fee + $18 expedited shipping fee. That would be so I could get the new passport in about 2 months. This is very stressful. I need it faster but there isn't any real option, and there aren't any appointments in person.. and I also don't live anywhere near a passport center. What should I do?

I want to share photos of the state of my passport right now after going through the washer. It seems the "bio page" (the most important page) is generally unscathed.. although I can't tell (maybe because it's still wet) but the colors look slightly faded (but not much). Most of the pages are slightly warped (it's still not fully dry though). There are blue threads clearly coming off of the passport.. and this looks a bit bad. However, what looks the most bad is the back cover (the last photo).. which literally split in half. I don't want to "alter" the passport.. so I guess I shouldn't make any attempt to glue it back together? Rather just leave it how it is now. It seems as though the back cover wouldn't be too important.. even though it does look bad that it's split in half. The visas (some of them) are all old visas and stamps.. there is smudging and blurriness as you can see in the photo.


Please take a look at the photos.. if you people can spare a few moments.. I really want to get honest feedback on whether this passport in it's current state looks like something I could travel on. I want to get a replacement and brand new one.. but there aren't any appointments.. and the shipping time for the new one even with the expedited fees would take too long. I forgot to mention that I don't have any permanent housing.. and another problem is being concerned about shipping the new passport and receiving it.. so that's another concern as well.

Ideally, I'd love to hear that this passport is still OK. But I also want to get honest feedback on what I should do.

  • Arent there "Speed Options"? We have a "One-Day-Passport" (You get it the next Day), an "Express Passport" (You get it within the next 2-3 Days) and an "Emergency Passport" (Issued immediately - but has a special Design). Depending on how fast the PP shall be issued, you pay more or less.
    – Bernhard
    Apr 9, 2021 at 10:39
  • 3
    @Bernhard there are such options, but the fastest options require going to a passport agency office. user117345: your claim to be "at least a few thousand miles away" from a passport center doesn't make sense. The only place in the US that is more than about 500 miles from a passport center is Alaska, and in Alaska only the western Aleutian islands are more than 2000 miles from Seattle. Where are you?
    – phoog
    Apr 9, 2021 at 20:58
  • Honestly, it looks not that bad to me. No more beat up than a typical heavy traveler's passport would be. The big question is whether the heat might have damaged some of the security features, but if it only went through the wash, not the dryer, presumably there wasn't that much heat anyway. I would call an official source and ask them. They might be able to give you some specifics to look for in order to determine whether it's too damaged or still usable.
    – Kyralessa
    Apr 10, 2021 at 7:51
  • 1
    I believe the back cover contains the RFID chip, if that has been damaged your passport may not be machine readable which will likely cause you headaches.
    – ajd
    Apr 10, 2021 at 12:37
  • If there's an airport near you, or some other place that would have a reason to read the chip information, you could go there and see whether your passport is still readable. I'd expect that an airline check-in counter could do this.
    – Kyralessa
    Apr 12, 2021 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


Do not take the risk, have it replaced.

To me it looks like damaged beyond use. You might get home on it but as you are home, be smart and make sure you do not make life and travel harder than needed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .