Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

We accidentally washed my passport. Do we need to get a new one?

by Mike
(Evergreen, Colorado)

Question: We accidentally washed my passport. The photo is still good but the blue cover looks worn. Do we need to get a new one?


Answer: Significantly damaged passports are no longer valid for travel nor can they be used to apply for a renewal. If your passport has been significantly damaged, especially the book cover or the page displaying your personal data and photo, you will need to apply for a new passport.

Looking "worn" may not constitute significant damage. The Department of State declares that "water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch and other injuries may constitute 'damage' requiring use of Form DS-11."

If you need to apply for a new passport, you must appear before a passport agent and submit the following documents:

* Application Form DS-11
* Evidence of Citizenship
* Proof of Identity
* Photocopy of Identification Document
* One Passport Photo

You can complete the form before arriving at the acceptance facility but remember not to sign it until the agent asks you to do so.

For complete instructions and to download the application, click the link below.

Apply for New Passport

Click the link below to locate a nearby acceptance facility.

Colorado Passport Offices

If you need to replace your passport quickly, click the link below.

Get Passport Fast

Return to Passport Replacement FAQ.

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Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 8 and 11 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 5 to 7 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering extremely limited in-person services if you need to travel internationally in the next 5 business days. Those with qualified life-or-death emergencies are prioritized.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 5 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 AM to 5PM, call ET 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, 202-647-4000

You can schedule your appointment up to 2 weeks before your international travel but the date of your appointment must be within 5 business days of your international travel. If you need a foreign visa, the date of your appointment must be within 10 business days of your international travel.

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