What NOT to Do With an Expired Passport

expired passport Boeing 787 Dreamliner
My flight was waiting for me … all I had to do was bring the right passport.


Shortly before the government shutdown in October, I realized my passport would expire just days before we left for Vietnam. I filled out the paperwork and sent the money for an expedited renewed passport. Two weeks later, I had a shiny-but-blank passport. A few days after that, I got my old expired passport with a hole punched through it. I tossed them into my top drawer.

The morning we left (the day before Sarah’s birthday), I stuck a paw in my top drawer and grabbed my passport. Of course, it’s only after a cab dropped us off at the airport — and after we’re nearly to the check-in agent — that I realized something.

I grabbed the old expired passport!

I told Sarah what’s up andsaid to get on the plane, and that I’ll go home and get my passport. Naturally, the first cab up was a hoopty minivan ill-suited to high-speed hijinks. Still, it got me back home. I stormed into my room, grabbed the new passport, tossed the expired passport somewhere safe, petted the cat good-bye again, and bolted back into the cab.

Everything turned out alright. I got back to the airport in time. We got to the gate … where we had some delay because the gate crew didn’t want to let me board. For some reason, they thought I needed a Vietnamese visa to even board the flight (which was to San Jose, never mind that travelers get visas when they arrive in Vietnam).

But I caused more stress than I really needed to. So here’s your simple piece of knowledge to take from this: Store your old and much-stamped expired passport somewhere far away from your current passport.

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By Wandering Justin

Writer. Traveler. Gastronomic daredevil. Fitness fan. Homebrewer. Metal dude \m/. Cat and dog lover.

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