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Passport woes

Got my new passport card today! Also had my current passport (exp july 2019) returned with two holes punched through the cover and first page. The passport folks tell me I have to get a new passport. Since we leave in 4 weeks I have to expedite. Does anyone have any experience with the expedite process? (I need to decide asap whether to trust the mail process again or to take the day off and drive 6+ hrs round trip to handle this in person at a passport office.)

I'm not sure why my passport was invalidated. I was told by the state dept passport rep that I should have attached a signed letter telling them not to cancel my passport. Unfortunately, that instruction isn't listed on the State Dept form, instructions, or website. Has anyone heard of this?

Posted by
2 posts


I called the State Dept Passport Complaint line to lodge a beef about this incident. I received completely different information from what Customer Service told me last night. This morning I was told that my case was not handled properly and I should call back to the Customer Service line.

Here's the update:
1) There is a formal process if your passport is "cancelled in error". Complete a form DS5504 and send it in along with a new passport photo, receipt for the new passport photo, receipt for postage, and the cancelled passport. That kicks off an expedited process to replace your passport at no cost to you.
2) Someone at the State Dept caught the error and had already submitted the DS5504 on my behalf. Apparently they have copies of my passport photos and have expedited a replacement passport. I was able to get an application # for the replacement that I can use to track status.

Great news for me. I just wish that a note explaining what happened had been included when my cancelled passport was returned.

Hopefully, if this happens to someone else they can find this post so they sleep better than I did last night.

LESSON ONE: If the answer you get seems unreasonable, call back again and see if that really is the correct answer.
LESSON TWO: As my mother always says, "the first thing to do is DON'T GET EXCITED".
LESSON THREE: There are government employees who strive to provide true customer service and are willing to help.

Looking forward to happier posts on my upcoming trip!

Posted by
3994 posts

What good news for you! Thanks for letting everyone know how it is being resolved.

Posted by
27424 posts

Wow. I'm impressed by that level of service, too. And good for you for following up rather than wandering around under a black cloud until you finally had a replacement passport in hand.

Posted by
14263 posts

This is a wonderful outcome! Thanks for posting the follow-up information.

Posted by
2632 posts

Lesson 2 has become my new mantra. Glad to hear your dilemma can be solved.

Posted by
23471 posts

Curious??? why were you requesting passport cards given that they have such a limited usage?

Posted by
3797 posts

Frank, don't know about the OP but my daughter who does not have a license uses her passport card as ID in the USA.

Posted by
824 posts

Passport cards are good for all land-ports of entry (yeah know - Mexico, too) and (most) maritime ports of entry. It's also great in cases where a non-conforming state drivers' license (issued by 13 states) are not accepted as a valid for of ID.

Posted by
2651 posts

I've found that my passport card is a nice form of ID. I use it for a second ID when needed and sometimes I just use it instead of showing my license. I like that it doesn't show my address.

Posted by
14580 posts

For the purpose of ID, ie one having a photo, I always carry the passport on me now in Europe, didn't use to in the past along with the Calif Dr. License. If one does not drive, there is the picture ID available at the DMV.

Posted by
89 posts

Re passport photos, the State Department just announced today that as of Nov. 1, photos for all new and renewing passports must be WITHOUT glasses, even if you customarily wear glasses. So heads up, if you're renewing a passport in the near future.

Posted by
3797 posts

Question for Work2Travel: How would a person who has a non-conforming license be able to get a passport card? I think that non-conforming licenses are for people who cannot provide documentation of their immigration status. As a result, I don't think that people who have non-conforming licenses would be able to obtain passport cards because they have the same proof of citizenship requirements as passports and if one could prove citizenship, one would not need (or receive) a non-conforming license. Do I have the wrong understanding of non-conforming licenses? I know about the issues with the Real ID law passed 2005 but way more than 13 states are not in compliance with that. Thanks.

Posted by
11613 posts

Glad that this worked out, but to the original question about expediting: my passport was expedited, I received it on the 7th day after I mailed the application. I think you can track it online, but not sure about that.