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Do Not Travel with Invalid Passport

Would I be able to leave the US with my Vietnamese passport (I have dual citizenship) and enter Romania with an invalid American passport (not because it’s expired but because it’s reported stolen but then I recover it) ? No, once your US Passport has been reported stolen it is not only invalid but tracked [...]

Would I be able to leave the US with my Vietnamese passport (I have dual citizenship) and enter Romania with an invalid American passport (not because it’s expired but because it’s reported stolen but then I recover it) ?

No, once your US Passport has been reported stolen it is not only invalid but tracked by US immigration authorities.

NEVER TRY TO USE AN EXPIRED OR INVALID US PASSPORT

It is my impression that if you tried to get on a flight using this passport that you reported stolen, the authorities would be on you in a matter of moments, and then you will have to explain what you are doing with a stolen passport — even if it is your own! As soon as the airline swipes this passport, they will be notified that it is stolen. I highly recommend that you do not try it!

From the official US Immigration website travel.state.gov

The information you provide regarding your lost or stolen US passport or passport card will be placed into our Consular Lost or Stolen Passport System. This system is designed to prevent the misuse of your lost or stolen US passport . . . Anyone using the passport book . . . reported as lost or stolen may be detained upon entry into the United States. Should you locate the US passport book reported lost or stolen at a later time, report it as found and submit it for cancellation. It has been invalidated. You may not use that passport for travel.

In point, do not try to travel with an invalid passport.

One thing that you can do to try to save your trip is to immediately travel to the Romanian consulate nearest you and try to get an expedited visa with your Vietnamese passport. Explain that your current US passport is at the British consulate (what kind of UK visa are you applying for anyway?) and that you have not yet had it returned to you. Show proof of travel (photocopies of your plane ticket) as well as a photocopy of your current, valid US passport — if you have one.

I would also HIGHLY recommend sending in your invalid US passport to the national passport processing center, so that it can be officially canceled. Having it on you is grounds for penalty.

I hope this helps.

Walk Slow,

Wade

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Original question about potentially using an invalid US passport

Here’s my situation:
i need to leave US on the 7th to Romania. I don’t have my valid American passport because I needed to send it to apply for a british visa and I still haven’t gotten it back yet.
But now my question is would I be able to leave the US with my Vietnamese passport (I have dual citizenship) and enter Romania with an invalid American passport (not because it’s expired but because it’s reported stolen but then I recover it) ?
On my vietnamese passport it has a stamp from the US , admitted on aug 20 2007.
Should I travel with both passports ?

Filed under: Travel Documents, Travel Help, USA, Visas

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Hoai Huong Truong September 3, 2009, 9:07 pm

    thank you so much for your help. I know I cannot use an invalidated passport for traveling, but just to show the Romanian customs that I have American citizenship hoping that they would allow me in.
    So does it mean that it is Okay to leave the US with my Vietnamese passport even though it does not have the US visa on it ? Do I need to have a green card in addition to it? I used it once to enter the US and it still has the stamp on it . Would I face any trouble entering the US when I come back with my American passport that I would receive back or should I enter the US with my Vietnamese passport?
    I am applying for a student British visa but their website says there’s been delay due to the new IT system, which is unexpected for me.

    Again, thank you very much for your help. Please reply as soon as possible.

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    • Wade | Vagabondjourney.com September 4, 2009, 5:38 pm

      You are in a tight situation. How long are you planning on being in Romania?

      Man, on second thought I would not leave the US without your US passport . . . especially since you do not have any document evidence that you are a duel citizen between the USA and Vietnam.

      What I would do is go to the British consulate that you sent your US passport into in person (if you can) and tell them that you need it back. I would bring in a copy of your flight and documentation that states the date that you sent it in for a visa. This may work. Bureaucracy is often very clogged up at consulates, but if you are persistent they may be able to get your passport and visa to you before your flight leaves.

      If you cannot go there in person, I would call them on the phone and try to find out what your chances are of having the visa expedited to you. As you said, they are experiencing a delay, so they may acknowledge responsibility and get your passport back to you. I would tell them that you NEED it and not take no for an answer.

      But I would not recommend leaving the USA without your valid passport if you do not have any other documentation that you are a US citizen and no visa in your Vietnamese passport. I would also not trust the mail system in Romania to deliver your passport to you if you were to have it sent to you later on.

      Another option — though this is probably a far shot — is to call the US passport processing center and find out what your chances are of getting a additional temporary passport. These are sometimes given out to frequent travelers who frequently need to leave the USA and apply for visas. In this way, a traveler could leave the USA on one passport while the other one is being processed for a visa.

      I must admit that your chances of being granted an additional temporary passport are slim, and it is even less of chance that they will be able to get it to you before you go anyway, but it may be worth checking out.

      Otherwise, I would recommend changing the date of your flight to Romania.

      Let us know how everything works out.

      Wade

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