What To Do if You Run Out of Pages in Your Passport & How To Get an Emergency Passport Abroad in 2018
So you’re finally out on that big trip you’ve been planning for months, and you couldn’t be more stoked about it. You’ve taken hundreds, maybe even thousands of pictures, made unforgettable memories, and had the trip of a lifetime. You’ve been collecting tons of stamps in your passport, and you’re quite proud of them! After all, passport stamps are a badge of honor among travelers right?
One day you’re flipping through your passport, taking a peek at some of those stamps you’ve collected and then you suddenly realize the day has finally come - you’ve run out of space! You go through all your pages twice and in a panic realized that you’re totally screwed! What are you going to do??
What Do I Do?
It’s a total bummer, but first things first - don’t panic. You might be freaking out a bit (which is totally normal!), but things are going to be just fine. Take a deep breath, and we’ll get through this together.
Depending on your future travel requirements you might not need another passport! If you’re at the end of your journey and are just going to be returning home you should be fine. However if you’ve still got some more adventuring ahead of you, that’s a bit of a different story.
Rest assured, we’ve been through this dilemma before and are here to provide you with a helpful guide to getting an emergency passport / to what to do if you run out pages in your passport.
Can’t I Just Add More Pages?
While we sincerely wish this was the case, it’s unfortunately not. The US Department of State stopped adding additional pages to passports in 2016 much to the dismay of American travelers across the world.
So Then What Are My Options?
From here you’ve basically got two options:
- If you’ve got time and can return to the embassy in 2 weeks, simply apply for another passport. While definitely somewhat of a hassle, it can be done in person at your respective US Embassy and is a fairly straightforward process. Simply complete all the steps below, just at a much more relaxed pace. The necessary forms and payments are all the same except you won’t be needing to present proof of onward travel!
- However, if you’re more pressed on time, you’ll be needing an emergency passport.
What’s an Emergency Passport?
Just as it sounds, an emergency passport is one issued in any sort of emergency. If you are unable to wait the 10-15 days for normal processing time, an emergency passport can be issued in a just a few hours.
Unlike a normal passport book, an emergency passport is only valid for up to 1 year, and has an extremely limited number of pages - 5 to be exact. So if you’re nearing the end of your travels this could be just the solution you need!
How Can I Get A Replacement Passport or Emergency Passport?
The first step in receiving any replacement or emergency passport is making an appointment with the respective US embassy in your current country. This almost always needs to be done online, and the booking site can normally be found with a simple Google search - i.e. if you’re looking to make an appointment at the embassy in Bangkok, just search ‘US embassy in Bangkok’. Once you’ve made your appointment, you are one step closer to getting a new passport!
What Do I Need to Bring With Me to the Embassy?
In order to help the process along smoothly, there are definitely a few things you’ll need to bring with you:
- Your full passport book
- Two current passport photos
- Completed DS-82 form - filling this out ahead of time will definitely help to speed the process along
- Printed record of your appointment at the embassy - some embassies may not require this, others may not, but better safe than sorry
- Printed proof of onward travel out of the country - any flight confirmation will do, it just needs to have your name, airport and departure date listed
- Necessary payment - some embassies will accept credit card, others only accept cash so better to bring both just in case
- NOT YOUR LAPTOP - United States embassies don’t allow visitors (US citizen or not) to bring in computers, so don’t make the same mistake I did and leave your computer at home
How Much Does it Cost?
The price for both replacement emergency passports is $110 USD. This can be payed in American cash, local currency equivalent and sometimes credit card as well.
TIP: Keep your receipt after paying for your emergency passport!! Whenever you go to apply for a full passport book, you can get it for free if you present the receipt from your emergency passport!
Anything Else I Need to Know?
- Some embassies have limited appointment availabilities - if this is the case and you URGENTLY need your emergency passport (i.e. you’re leaving the country in 2 days) give them a call and see if you can work something out
- When applying for a new passport book overseas, you can apply for a large book at no extra cost! For frequent travelers this is a valuable piece of information!
- Make sure to keep your old passport book!
- Ask about visa transfers - depending on where you are and what type of visa you have, you may need to present an authorized letter with both your new and old passport to exit the country properly
- When having your emergency passport issued you will most likely be asked to come back in a few hours - it might seem like a pain but think of it as a nice opportunity to grab a little bite and explore the area!
- It doesn’t hurt to wear a little something nice. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit, but it’s probably not the best idea to wear those elephant pants you’ve been rocking since your time in Northern Thailand
- Smile! We know it’s a super stressful situation and you might feel in over your head, but a little positivity goes a long way. If you simply explain to the embassy your situation and are sincere about it they will be much more likely to help than if you approach the situation with a bad attitude
Now that you’ve got everything sorted out and your new passport in hand, you should be well on your way! We sincerely hope that this guide has helped you in getting yourself a new passport, and if you happen to have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask us! We’re always happy to help 🙂
Yours in Adventure,
Joel & Marla