My friend's passport is a bit worn out.

The passport is biometric and valid for five years(three left). The country's coat of arms, that should be on the cover is no longer visible. And the passport is a bit bent.

The first page with all the details about the person and all the pages inside are intact, no damage whatsoever.

  • Try travel.stackexchange.com/questions/21090/… - if the chip is working it's probably ok. I had one...err...two go through the wash that looked awful but still worked.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 1:53
  • @MarkMayo It's not an American passport, but I'll check that, thanks.
    – Wade Tyler
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 1:56
  • Japan is usually OK with entrants based on where their Japanese entry / visa credentials checkout, their passport RFID is readable by their machine and the image of your face can be matched to the one that is taken at immigration. The look of the outside is not usually of concern however, you don't mention how "beaten up" it is, nor whether it could be taken as having been tampered with. Generalisations aside, whether your friend will get stopped for their passports excessive wear is largely down to who the individual border agent assesses the situation (as is true anywhere in the world). Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 7:09
  • @TheWanderingCoder As far as I was told, aside from the coat of arms on the cover no longer being visible, none of the pages are damaged(no water, no tears, no marks). The first page that contains the important details is also not damaged.
    – Wade Tyler
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 7:23
  • @WadeTyler As I said, in that case, for all intents and purposes, the Passport is Valid (it has all of its internal information undamaged and the RFID readable). In which case it comes down to the discretion of the border agent. As Mikey states in his answer, he has been hit and miss for his passport (however this may be more due to his location and nationality rather than the wear and tear to his passport). There is no guarantee to entry even if your passport is immaculate, that said, if your friend is well travelled, there is nothing out of the ordinary with a worm passport either. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


It Depends

Typically, in the United States (I am not sure which country your friend's passport is from), there is not a problem so long as the chip is working. I'm confident that is the same in Europe, as I've traveled throughout with what you're describing. [I hold a USA passport with a work visa in the UAE]


When I took the same, worn passport traveling to other countries, it caused a lot of trouble, even though the numbers, the photograph and the bar code were both legible, and the chip works.

  • In Saudi Arabia, I almost had my transit visa taken away, because they didn't 'like' my passport.
  • In Nepal, I waited hours in a wooden chair at the airport in Kathmandu. It was not explained to me the issue specifically, but it was about my passport, so I am assuming it was the presentation of it, since I don't really have anything controversial with it.
  • In Israel I was subject to extreme scrutiny and questioning (before departing, oddly), but I will caveat that this could have been because I have a lot of stamps from countries that they politically do not tend to favor. Nonetheless, the passport was again the issue.
  • In the United Arab Emirates, I was detained in the airport overnight and missed a day of work, because of the condition of the passport - being told after my PRO talked to them, that I "need to get a new passport."

My very strong recommendation is to have your friend get a replacement passport just to avoid the unnecessary hassle if someone doesn't like how worn or 'suspicious' it looks. The minute I got back to Abu Dhabi I went to the US Embassy, got a replacement, and haven't had a problem since.

So she might not have a problem, but it's probably not worth the risk.

  • This answer was done with limited information about country of origin and intended travel destinations, so it's just anecdotal.
    – Mikey
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 3:26
  • @WadeTyler - I think in this case, I would stick with the last sentence of my answer; I don't think she would have a problem like being denied entry, but she may have a lot of hassle, and should probably pay the leu to get a replacement passport.
    – Mikey
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 4:27

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