The chances are that if you travel internationally, you will more than likely need a passport to enter your destination country. There are exceptions, such as when traveling by cruise ship; but, a passport is your official form of identification. It contains essential information such as your name, photo, date of birth, and other identifying details.
However, there are several reasons why you might want to think twice before tossing it in the trash. First of all, never toss your passport in the dumpster as it contains valuable personal information. Secondly, there are many valid reasons why an expired passport is still useful, even after its prime.
If you travel frequently, you’ll need to have a valid passport, which means having to re-apply for a new one every so often. You’ll likely have more than one expired passport in your possession. However, even after they expire, some countries like the United States still consider old passports valid forms of citizenship.
If you lose a passport and need to get a new one, an expired one can prove your legal status and identity. You can also submit a birth certificate but these don’t contain a photo. Old passports have the same information plus a photo.
Passport agencies may require applicants to submit their old passports to apply for new ones. For an agency, an old passport makes the identification process very easy, as all the essential information is already on it.
Countries such as the U.S. may have more stringent rules on determining the legal status of a person. Without a passport, you’ll have to dig up more than one document to prove your identity and legal status. An old passport can eliminate that need and make it easy to verify your status through one document.
In addition to passports, visas may also be a part of your life if you travel frequently. Many countries require a visa in addition to a passport. And if you want to apply for one, you will need to show your passport.
Visas act as official permits to enter a country. They may have restrictions on them that dictate the purpose of travel and length of time a visitor is allowed to stay.
For example, student visas allow individuals to visit a country for schooling and other educational purposes. A business visa may be issued to a company CEO for a business meeting while tourist visas are issued for leisure travel. These are just a few examples, but there may be visas issued for more specific purposes, such as long-term work visas or those issued to government officials.
Visas are generally stamped inside your passport book. Some countries allow multiple entries on one visa, but others are single-entry only, meaning you can only enter the country once.
If you need to re-apply for a visa, an old passport may contain your expired visa information. So not only does an expired passport come in handy for new passports, but it can also help you apply for a new visa.
If you need to renew your driver’s license, an old passport can serve as verification of your identity. After all, you may have tossed your expired license away or lost it. In such a case, an expired passport can help you prove who you are.
Even if you have a collection of expired passports, why would you want to throw them away? Like old photos, these are truly irreplaceable relics of our lives.
Not only do they show what we looked like in the past (for better or worse), but they show the places we’ve traveled too. You might get a sense of nostalgia by flipping through your passport book and seeing all the places you’ve been too. Going through your passport can give you a sense of joy, personal accomplishment, or just remind you of an extraordinary moment in your life. That is something worth treasuring.
You can also show your children or other relatives your old passport. You can inspire them to travel, see the world, and learn to appreciate different cultures.
You can use passport pages and stamps to create works of art. You can frame the unique and colorful stamps and give them to your kids as memories or hang them on the walls of your living room. The choice is up to you. You can get as creative as you’d like!
There are many things you can do with an old passport. Notice that tossing it away did not make this list. Not only can expired passports serve as identification, but why would anyone want to throw away something that contains memories and personal experiences? As you can see, old passports pass the test of time.