customs and immigration – Damaged U.S Passport.. Need Help & Advice Please! (photos included)

I’ve been traveling for over 20 years. This is the first time my passport has accidentally taken a trip through the washing machine. I was so sad and even a bit upset at myself earlier today when I realized what I had done. What’s done is done.

I spent half the day reading information. I also called the toll-free passport customer support number. I looked thoroughly at the process for getting a new passport during COVID times. I’ll share what I found out today. I also want to get community feedback on the state of my passport and advice on what I should do.

Long story short.. I’m hoping to go overseas next month. I need my passport for going overseas. I’m not near any “passport center.” I’m at least a few thousand miles away. When I called passport customer support today, I was told that all in-person appointments are taken anyways for the foreseeable future. It’s unlikely that any would become available due to very limited appointments due to the COVID. OK.

The other option is to schedule at a USPS to submit my application. OK. I could do this. However, even if I spent an extra $60 (expeditated fee) + $18 (expedited shipping fee).. the wait times are still currently “8 – 10 weeks…” OK in my case that’s too long.. but this seems to be the only plausible option available to me. The total cost will be $110 passport + $35 handler fee + $60 expedited fee + $15 passport photo fee + $18 expedited shipping fee. That would be so I could get the new passport in about 2 months. This is very stressful. I need it faster but there isn’t any real option, and there aren’t any appointments in person.. and I also don’t live anywhere near a passport center. What should I do?

{rant}
I’m disappointed a U.S passport can’t survive 1 light washing. It didn’t go through the dryer.. just 1 “delicate” cycle on the washing machine. It’s very disappointing to see threads coming off of it and the back cover torn in half just from this. The passports should be made more durable, especially when citizens have to spend over $200 getting one. There really should be more processing centers in this country.{/rant}

I want to share photos of the state of my passport right now after going through the washer. It seems the “bio page” (the most important page) is generally unscathed.. although I can’t tell (maybe because it’s still wet) but the colors look slightly faded (but not much). Most of the pages are slightly warped (it’s still not fully dry though). There are blue threads clearly coming off of the passport.. and this looks a bit bad. However, what looks the most bad is the back cover (the last photo).. which literally split in half. I don’t want to “alter” the passport.. so I guess I shouldn’t make any attempt to glue it back together? Rather just leave it how it is now. It seems as though the back cover wouldn’t be too important.. even though it does look bad that it’s split in half. The visas (some of them) are all old visas and stamps.. there is smudging and blurriness as you can see in the photo.

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Please take a look at the photos.. if you people can spare a few moments.. I really want to get honest feedback on whether this passport in it’s current state looks like something I could travel on. I want to get a replacement and brand new one.. but there aren’t any appointments.. and the shipping time for the new one even with the expedited fees would take too long. I forgot to mention that I don’t have any permanent housing.. and another problem is being concerned about shipping the new passport and receiving it.. so that’s another concern as well.

Ideally, I’d love to hear that this passport is still OK. But I also want to get honest feedback on what I should do.