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Old Jun 25, 11, 9:54 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Dropped passport in hot tub water... do I renew or replace it?

My US passport fell into a hot tub for a few minutes and came out soaking wet.
It's only a little over a year old.

I'm trying to get a new one. The State Dept's website said that I can "renew" it by mail if the original passport was not damaged. Otherwise, I'll have to submit application in person(i.e. post office).

Does anyone know what their definiition of "damaged" is? Like I said, it only fell in hot tub water for a few minutes and looked fine.... does show sign that the paper dried up.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 25, 11, 11:36 pm   #2
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From the State Department FAQ's, sounds like you have to reapply, not just renew (though of course it depends on the exact damage, though they do mention water damage)

a: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. You will need to submit the following in person (See Where to Apply):

The damaged passport
Form DS-11
All documents required by Form DS-11, including citizenship documentation (i.e. birth certificate)

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.

Normal wear of a U.S. passport is understandable and likely does not constitute “damage”. For instance, the expected bend of a passport after being carried in your back pocket or fanning of the visa pages after extensive opening and closing. In most cases of normal wear, you may renew your passport by mail using Form DS-82.

Please remember, if you try to renew a significantly damaged passport using Form DS-82, you may be asked by the Passport Agency to apply again using Form DS-11 and incur additional fees.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 1:22 am   #3
 
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Years ago my passport got wet at the beach. I let it dry and then ironed it. Used it for several years until it expired.

Last edited by VonS; Jun 26, 11 at 3:30 am.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 1:32 am   #4
 
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My passport has been through an entire wash cycle. Many dozens of immigration officers have never said a word. I have however gotten several stern lectures from assorted rent-a-cops. Including the TSA, but then again the TSA disallowed my US passport as valid ID even before it was washed. (Actually, the TSA/rent-a-cops picking at the laminate has caused more damage than the water. I tend to watch them carefully now and only show when no other ID will suffice)
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Old Jun 26, 11, 5:04 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingbrick View Post
My passport has been through an entire wash cycle.
And I thought I was the only one!

I still use it, with no problem. But it is not the passport I use in the US, so I can't vouch for TSA acceptance.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 7:49 am   #6
 
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The hot tub will be fine.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 9:01 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
The hot tub will be fine.
Whew!
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Old Jun 26, 11, 9:16 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
The hot tub will be fine.
No, the hot tub wasn't fine.... I got my passport out of the water...

but later that night, someone got too drunk and did a number 2 while sitting
inside the hot tub. (fortunately, everyone else got so drunk as well and never
made it to the hot tub)
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Old Jun 26, 11, 11:52 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyplane View Post
but later that night, someone got too drunk and did a number 2 while sitting inside the hot tub.
You sure it wasn't just a Baby Ruth?
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Old Jun 26, 11, 12:49 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellyplane View Post
No, the hot tub wasn't fine.... I got my passport out of the water...

but later that night, someone got too drunk and did a number 2 while sitting
inside the hot tub. (fortunately, everyone else got so drunk as well and never
made it to the hot tub)
You need to choose your friends better .
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Old Jun 26, 11, 1:18 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by bitburgr View Post
You sure it wasn't just a Baby Ruth?
unless that's what people call "number 2" these days?
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Old Jun 26, 11, 1:20 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
You need to choose your friends better .
I didn't know most of the people in the room.... it was a NYC hotel suite with an in-room 10-person hot tub.... people do strange things at bachlor party's.(not really a bachelor, because the groom's been married three times already.... )
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Old Jun 26, 11, 4:15 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by smellyplane View Post
unless that's what people call "number 2" these days?
Caddyshack anyone?
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Old Jun 26, 11, 4:39 pm   #14
 
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If the laminate page with your information is still in good shape, I wouldn't worry about the rest. If you travel a lot internationally, after a few years your passport will be dog eared, half rolled up, spills and stains, all kinds of stuff. If it is falling apart, then you need to get it replaced. If the photo page is good, and the other pages are physically still well attached to the binding, then I think you're fine.

Look on the bright side - if you haven't already disabled the RFID chip in the cover, then the dousing may have done that for you. When I got my new passport 4 years ago, the first thing I did was take a hammer to the RFID chip to disable it.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 3:31 am   #15
 
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well I can tell you if a customs agent does not like it he will take it and cancel it with a hole puncher and tell you to go get a new one....LOL
This is what happened to me after mine fell apart and was scotched taped back together. I say use it tell someone tells you to go get a new one.
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