I have a British passport and I have tried to use the EPassport gate a few times in the UK but it has never worked. The last time I tried, they told me the chip in the passport was broken, even though it is only a year old and it does not look damaged in any way.

I am travelling to the US in a month and I am worried that I might have some problems at passport control. Does anyone have any advice/information?

I cant seem to find a definitive answer online so any info would be appreciated!

  • You shouldn't have any problems other than a slightly longer session with the border officer as he or she enters your data manually for the database queries. – phoog Mar 1 '16 at 23:05
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    @phoog Why do they need to enter it manually? What's wrong with the machine-readable text on the passport? – CMaster Mar 1 '16 at 23:31
  • @CMaster good point. I suppose I'm wrong about that -- though there can be some items on the information page that are omitted from the machine readable text, but are encoded on the chip, I doubt they would have to be entered for a database query. – phoog Mar 1 '16 at 23:38
  • If the kiosks can detect if a passport is chip equipped (ie an indicator in the machine readable part) and the kiosk can not read that chip, then there is a chance the passport will be flagged for further questioning. But that should not be a problem, just some Q&A. – user13044 Mar 2 '16 at 2:58
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because we can't know why or if your passport is broken. – Itai Mar 2 '16 at 22:03

I've had a UK passport with a broken RFID chip for over nine years, and I've gone in and out of the US something like 20 times during that period. I have not had any problems whatsoever.

I suspect it would be a problem if you wanted to use the automated entry kiosks in the US, but as long as you're queueing to see an immigration officer, they'll just use the machine-readable text in your passport.

As an aside, I also use the ePassport kiosks when returning to the UK, because I satisfy the requirements (right age, have ePassport; the regulations don't say it has to work). I used to go through the theatre of trying to use the kiosk and failing, but now I just go straight to the "I got rejected" queue at the ePassport line, and tell them the RFID's been broken since day one. I get some funny looks, but it doesn't half cut down on the queueing time.

  • Feel free to accept this answer, if it's dealt with the question to your satisfaction. – MadHatter Mar 3 '16 at 16:51

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