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Passport is FULL - should I care?

Portland, Oregon
posts: 7
reviews: 1
Passport is FULL - should I care?

Have not seen this question on TA before (and is this correct forum?):

Can't seem to locate an answer on the US Passport site. Thought you might know: We are preparing for a RTW and discover our passport pages are full. Does this matter? Will they just stamp over stamps or find a free corner on the page?

Thanks for any information.

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 7,180
reviews: 81
1. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Depending on where you go, yes it does matter. For example, I'm headed to Brazil next month and the visa requirements are that I need to have at least two pages blank and at least six months remaining on the passport. So... any country that requires a visa will need blank pages as visas are not put in on top of other stamps. I usually change in my passports for new ones when I get down to four blank pages.

If your passport is US origin, then you *may* be able to get an insert for it. If your trip is a ways off, I'd certainly recommend getting a new one.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 14,201
reviews: 73
2. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Hi,

Yes, you DO need to care.. In some cases the country you enter may require enough room to place their stamp or mark and in some cases this "mark" or stamp can be quite big and containing some handwriting- like a validity date or such.. Also, visas will generally NOT be affixed over other stamps and marks and *most* visas are either entire page stickers or stamps..

Best advice? Get a 24-page "insert" added.. They are free of charge to have done while in the US thru the US Passport Agency (or with charge if you elect to use the expedite service) OR can be done for NO charge--usually same day or next day-- at an overseas US Embassy.. The 24-page insert is simply glued into your passport, an amendment note is made and your electronic Passport records (in the State Department's computer) changed to reflect this.

If you elect to do this, get the form DS-4085 which is required when applying for an insert..

…state.gov/passport/…ds4085_2662.html

If you do this overseas, check with the "American Citizen Services" or ACS department of the US Embassy. If you are in a smaller city or not the countries capitol city, thus closer to an American Consulate, do call them first as *some* smaller Consulates aren't set-up to handle passport issuance/amendments- only the larger Embassies..

The maximum number of inserts permitted in any one passport is seven (7). After the 7th insert you'll be required to obtain a new passport, even if your current one is still valid.

This is what mine looks like after the 7th insert:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8429693@N04/3915180224/

Travel Safe,

New York
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 1,166
3. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

If you don't have the correct number of blank pages required by the first country you are visiting the airline can deny you boarding on the flight so I would recommend doing it here. I did it about a year ago by mail and got my passport back within a week.

Sheffield, United...
posts: 2,625
4. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Hi if doing RTW then you WILL need lots of empty pages, I know many countries in Africa require MIN 2 blank pages, no pages, no entry, its as simple as that, could be very embarassing, as well as very expensive, and a ruined holiday to boot! (dont know about rest of world)

Ivan.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
posts: 3,362
reviews: 59
5. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Anybody who as filled a passport up, knowns full well you need at least one blank page to travel. Don't they?

ian480.

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
posts: 37,717
reviews: 48
6. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

"Anybody who as filled a passport up, knowns full well you need at least one blank page to travel. Don't they?"

Maybe not. USA passports are good for 10 years, and the immigration folks are always looking for a "fresh" page for their stamp, it seems. I didn't have any blank pages left in mine when it expired, and it never would have crossed my mind that this could be an issue.

kentucky
posts: 4,114
reviews: 39
7. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

not all US passports can have extra pages added at all consulates outside the States.--some only have pages for the old style docs.

if you have to add pages quickly you still have to pay the expedite fee thru the US Passport office--no fee for the pages, as mentioned.

South Africa requires 2 blank pages for VOA.

DO your homework on all visas--many have to be obtained prior to travel and some are VERRYYYY $$$$$

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 36,824
reviews: 77
8. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

You should be able to get extra pages added without a problem. Be sure to do this. There is no point in risking your trip for the inconvenience of adding a few pages.

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
posts: 3,516
9. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Can definately confirm that some countries, South Africa most definately, requires blank pages. I know of someone who was refused entry and sent back to the USA on the same plane that he arrived on.

kentucky
posts: 4,114
reviews: 39
10. Re: Passport is FULL - should I care?

Interesting-- gate agents check for visas and 2 blank pages. I've seen pax denied initial boarding w/out them.