It’s important to check your passport when planning a trip. A simple passport slip can turn your vacation into a stay-cation.
Here’s the top 5 passport mistakes that can stop you in your tracks.
Not checking for damage
Even minor passport damage can stop you from boarding your flight or entering your destination. You could even be detained if the damage leads local authorities to suspect passport fraud.
Well before you travel, check your passport for signs of damage like rips, marks, stains or missing pages. In particular, make sure the photo page and Machine-Readable Zone are free from damage. And always keep your passport somewhere safe, dry and secure, at home and while you’re travelling.
See damaged and faulty passports for more information.
Not checking the expiry date
Some countries won’t let you enter if your passport is due to expire in 6 months or less.
Check your passport expiry date before you travel. Make sure there’s more than 6 months between the expiry date and the date you leave your destination.
For more information on your destination’s entry and exit conditions, check our travel advice.
Having too many stamps
If you travel overseas frequently your passport may have a lot of visa stamps. Some countries won’t let you enter unless you have at least 2 to 4 blank pages in your passport. Make sure you check how many blank pages you have left.
Also check for unauthorised stamps such as souvenir or tourist ones. These types of stamps can make your passport invalid for travel.
Leaving it too late to apply or renew
Checked your passport and found you need a new one? Make sure you’ve left enough time to get it. While most passport applications are processed in well under 6 weeks, some do take longer. This includes first-time adult and child passports.
Falling for a scam
If you need to renew your passport or apply for one, make sure you use the official website - passports.gov.au. Scammers sometimes set up fake websites or send messages pretending to be from a trusted government department. If your identity is stolen or misused, you may need to cancel your passport.
For more information see protecting against scams and identity theft.