This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

You might be able to get away with the excuse of your dog eating your homework, but when it comes to your passport—you won’t be so lucky.

That’s what one newlywed couple discovered after they had already flown 16 hours to Bali. Daniel and Tia Farthing were traveling for their honeymoon from the UK to Bali with a layover in Singapore. The couple made it through Singapore seamlessly, but were denied entry into Bali because their dog chewed up the corner of Daniel’s passport.

The couple, dog and chewed passport (photo by Mega Agency)

UK border officials reportedly told Daniel that his passport would allow him to be admitted to the Indonesian vacation hotspot, but Indonesian border patrol said the passport was in unacceptable condition. Officials in Bali sent the couple back to Singapore where Daniel was detained for seven hours, given no communication with his wife and locked in a room with 30 other people.

Indonesia does not have passport damage regulations easily available online. For American travelers, US passport books specify that they aren’t to be altered or mutilated in any way. The US also sets the following guidelines for damaged passports:

“U.S. passports that are damaged or in poor condition must be replaced, as they are no longer valid for travel. For security reasons, damaged passports may be retained by the Passport Unit. Please be aware that your damaged U.S. passport is not proof of citizenship or identity.”

The UK says that a little passport “wear and tear” is fine and defines damage as any of the following:

  • Details are indecipherable
  • The laminate has lifted enough to allow the possibility of photo substitution
  • Discolouration to the bio-data page
  • Chemical or ink spillage on any page
  • Missing or detached pages
  • The chip or antenna shows through the end paper on the back cover for the new style e-passports
  • The chip has been identified as damaged after investigation

The newlyweds told The Mirror they had spent £5,000 for their honeymoon.

“We got married last year and planned our honeymoon for our first anniversary,” the couple told The Mirror. “We’d booked an elephant safari, a villa and pool. It was going to be so special.”

Since they did not get to take their trip, Tia’s sister set up a GoFundMe page to help them cover their lost expenses.  The fundraising page has raised more than $1,400 in just two weeks. Tia’s sister wrote on the page that the couple had spent the entire year saving for this trip.

“Bali is not a cheap holiday,” she wrote. “And the worst part is the insurance won’t pay out a single penny, so they have lost thousands of pounds.”

The couple’s 4-year-old black lab-collie mix, Milo, had actually chewed the corner of the passport four years ago, and Daniel never had any problems traveling with it until this trip.

If you’re prone to misplacing or mistreating your belongings, TPG recommends getting a passport wallet to help keep it in good condition.

Know before you go.

News and deals straight to your inbox every day.

2018 TPG Award Winner: Mid-Tier Card of the Year
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
18.24% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.