When Was The Last Time You Gave Your Passport A Checkup?
- Greg Lamb
You have been examined and issued a medical by the AME, the mechanics have completed the aircraft inspections, your international paperwork has been checked and double checked, and your preflight checks are all done. Are you ready for your international flight?
You may be, but is your passport?
The condition of our passport is something we may take for granted. After all, the worth of a well-traveled crewmember is measured by the dog ears on their passport, right? Maybe so in our small circle, but you may find that some customs officials abroad have differing opinions on this matter. Just because you have exited and entered a particular country with a passport in a certain condition does not mean that officials of other countries will not reject your passport altogether.
Do you have tears, especially in the data page showing your photo, passport number, and other discerning information used to identify you? Is anything faded? Is it delaminating? Have you made any repairs or alterations to keep it together? While some defects may appear insignificant to you, these seemingly innocuous defects could result in a denial and turn-back when attempting to enter some countries.
The US State Department gives the following guidance: "Damage that might require you to replace your passport includes water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing visa pages (torn out), a hole punch, or other injuries. Normal 'wear and tear' of a US passport is expected and likely does not count as damage. For instance, normal wear includes the bend of a passport after being carried in your back pocket or fanning of the visa pages after extensive opening and closing."
When was the last time your passport received a checkup?