I have a very small ball pen mark in page 3 of my passport. Is it considered damaged? Will I have any issues ?enter image description here

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    This question is cute 😍 Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 14:30
  • I’m voting to close this question because it's of little use for most users. This is a minor issue, and almost sounds like a joke question. There are plenty of reasonable questions about what constitutes a damaged passport. Commented Nov 11, 2022 at 22:57
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    Do not edit out the photo. It is an integral part of the question. (And that comment about the paper being recognized was a joke.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 5:52
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    This question is important as we get many people with small damages to their passports and in this they can compare.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 5:54
  • @QuoraFeans on the contrary, there is no reason to think that there are no other people in the world with pen marks in their passports. In fact, I have one in one of mine. Some of those people will have the same question.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 8:08

2 Answers 2


Is it considered damaged?


Will I have any issues ?


Passports are "working document". Mine have been scribbled on, stickered in, bend, folded, smudged, dog-eared, etc. Immigration officers aren't exactly "gentle", so some amount of wear and tear is fully expected.

  • What if such a pen mark was on the bio-data page? Will there be any issues?
    – alireza
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 13:39
  • @alireza it's probably more likely to be an issue if it's on the biographical data page, but only slightly so. As far as I'm aware, most biodata pages these days have a plastic coating (or are made entirely of plastic) so aren't likely to take a mark from a ballpoint pen.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 16, 2023 at 18:02

It depends on the person inspecting the passport. There are no specific common laws or rules that say that big ink spills are bad, but small ink marks are fine. Even some official stamps may sometimes get recognized as "a damage".

I personally would not bother. It's hard to notice, it does not obstruct any text, chip, visas or stamps, it does not look like a stamp or a text, and it does not look like a tampering, at least to me personally. I would not consider the passport damaged, and I would not expect more problems than usual.

However, I don't visit any countries that are known to be notoriously strict for passports like mine. If I'm to visit, I wouldn't be surprised if such mark is used as a formal cause to deny entry, should the officer want to. Of course, if there are no marks, there are plethora of other causes to deny entry.

Also, I wouldn't recommend trying to remove the mark yourself or with someone else's help; now that's something that may look like tampering.

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    "it does not look like a stamp...": I would go a bit further and say that it looks like a stray mark from a border officer. Border officers are allowed to write in passports, and they sometimes make mistakes like that. If that were considered to invalidate the passport, people would be replacing their passports much more frequently than they do. As to the last paragraph, that point cannot be stressed enough. Absolutely do not try to remove the mark.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 8:16
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    Whilst in general the "it depends" answer is correct for "damaged" passports, in this case there's no chance any agent would consider this damaged. It's very clear this is just a stray marking and not an attempt to modify the passport/visas in any way. There is zero chance this mark will cause issues.
    – Doc
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 17:34
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    @Doc agreed -- unless they try to remove the mark.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 12, 2022 at 21:05

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