In most cases, a water-damaged passport is considered significantly damaged by the U.S. State Department. That means it's no longer a valid form of identification and must be replaced before international travel. There are several ways to request a new passport, depending on your location at the time of the water damage and the amount of time left before your next international trip.

Types of Damage

Passports with water damage to the book's cover or the personal data page, as well as those with severe water damage anywhere in the passport book, must be returned to the U.S. Department of State so a new passport can be issued. You must also include a passport application. The U.S. Department of State permits use of passports with minimal water marks – for example, a passport with a single drop of water on a page – because these passports are not considered damaged.

Obtaining a New Passport

If you are a U.S. citizen with a water-damaged passport and are not planning on traveling internationally in the near future, you can obtain a new passport by visiting a local passport acceptance facility and completing form DS-11 "Application for a U.S. Passport." In addition to the application, you must also present the damaged passport, proof of citizenship, proof of identity, the standard passport application fee and a single passport photo. In the photo, face the camera directly with your full fall visible, a neutral expression or natural smile, and no hat, glasses or other coverings that obscure the full view of your face.

Obtaining a New Passport in a Hurry

If your passport is damaged by water within two weeks of international travel, or within four weeks of travel when a visa must be placed in the passport, the only way to get a passport in time for your trip is to request it in person from the nearest regional passport agency. In addition to the aforementioned requirements for a replacement passport, you must make an appointment at the nearest facility and, in most cases, provide proof of your upcoming trip.

Passports Damaged Overseas

In the event that your passport sustains water damage while you are outside the country, contact the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate; they can issue a replacement passport. Before a passport can be issued internationally, you must also present the standard application form DS-11 along with all supporting documentation, the water-damaged passport, a Social Security number and form DS-64 "Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport."