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Problems with the chip in a UK passport

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I landed in the UK on Saturday to be told that the chip in my (UK) passport no longer scans and that I should consult some immigration authority to have it replaced.

 

Looking on the internet the chips have a 2-year warranty (on a 10-year passport?!?) and mine was issued in the first half of 2006.

 

Has anyone else had a similar problem?

 

If I am not planning to go to the US will this pose a problem for me? The thought of paying for a new passport every two years because the chips fails really irritates me!

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yeah i heard about this.

i get the feeling its all a con, they are updating all the technology and preparing for the ID cards against our will

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As long as its machine readable, it doesn't matter if it has a RFID chip. If the Chiip won't read, then they scan the picture page as they always did/do.

Making people pay for a new PP just because the chip goes bad sounds like the Govt. just milking the people for more $$$. Many studies were done on these

chipped PP's, and they found that even with normal/avg use the chip can be damaged.

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I have had the same problem with my passport for the last 4 years.  The chip stopped working after about 2 years.  It hasn't been a big issue - I get some extra questions at passport control sometimes.   However, this summer I am going to the US and a UK passport officer at Stansted has told me that I need a working chip for the US.  Has anyone travelled to the US recently on a British passport with a defective chip?  For ESTA you need a chip, but I have seen some old online posts where people say that it doesn't matter if the chip is defective, after all the chip could turn faulty at any time.  The UK does now seem to be replacing faulty chips for free, but they are saying it can take around 5 weeks, and if they then decide the damage is your fault, you then have to apply for a new passport in the usual way. So that process could take a couple of months, and I don't have that long.  (Plus I regularly need my passport for other reasons as it is my only form of ID.)

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Can anyone help?  I am probably just going to get a new passport, but it is annoying when I still have 4 years left on it.

 

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Better renew it rather than getting refused entry to the U.S.

They should issue it with the 10 years plus up to 9 months out of the 4 years you have left on the passport.

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1 hour ago, sluzup said:

Can anyone help?  I am probably just going to get a new passport, but it is annoying when I still have 4 years left on it.

 

 

They have a hotline for urgent travel. 

 

What you should do if you have been advised your chip failed to read

If you’re travelling urgently

If you have been informed your chip has failed to read, you are travelling urgently (within 2 weeks) and have evidence to support pre-booked travel please call the HM Passport Office Advice Line (0300 222 0000).

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biometric-passports-and-passport-readers/biometric-passports-and-passport-readers

 

Though with all the austerity and cutbacks, etc, would be good to have some feedback.

 

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Thanks.  I had already rung the hotline, and got the information that I have given above.  If I were in the UK I would have been given an appointment for a personal visit.  But I am not in the UK, and have a gap of about 5 weeks where I don't need my passport so can get it renewed.  That is enough time if I pay for it, but not enough time to get it for free.  (I have also googled this subject a lot, but can't find recent data that says I'll be ok with my defunct chip.)  I have found a US government site that says your chip doesn't have to work, but it is not clear if that applies to non-US, and especially to ESTA.  (On the previous advice given on the UK passport website, I have emailed a US govt department too, last year, and they wouldn't commit one way or the other.  I forget now who I emailed, and can't find the email now.)  

 

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23 hours ago, hooperski said:

Better renew it rather than getting refused entry to the U.S.

They should issue it with the 10 years plus up to 9 months out of the 4 years you have left on the passport.

I know and that is what I am planning on doing.  I had problems getting my passport photos this week - I took all the requirements to the photo place, and they insisted they knew what they were doing.  I saw the woman measuring my face on the photo, so assumed she had checked it was within the UK requirements, but when I got home, measured myself and my face is 3mm too big.  At that point I wrote these posts.  I have gone back and got them changed, although haven't double checked them yet. 

 

I am a bit paranoid about getting a new passport, as when my children got their first passports the Hotline claimed they hadn't arrived and Deutsche Post said they didn't know where they were (I had sent the application by registered post.)  Deutsche Post just gave up and said I could have my money back for the postage.  Finally my husband found a phone number for the Consulate post room, and they said they had arrived 2 weeks previously.

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AFAIK the chip need not work. There are other security features, and it's entirely plausible that the chip gets damaged due to the way a passport is used. It does not invalidate the passport, even for the US which is really the only country for which the chip was supposed to matter. I have no idea whether my chip works, but I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Some background info links:

https://www.wired.com/story/us-border-patrol-hasnt-validated-e-passport-data-for-years/

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/practical-travel-safety-security-issues/1826940-passport-chip-broken-still-valid.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/faqs.html (scroll down to the last FAQ)

https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/66015/what-happens-if-the-electronic-chip-on-your-passport-is-broken-at-a-port-of-entr

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On ‎12‎/‎06‎/‎2018‎ ‎17‎:‎18‎:‎27, kaffeemitmilch said:

I have no idea whether my chip works, but I wouldn't worry about it.

 

Maybe yours is like mine and it half-works? So FRA outbound always scans first time, FRA inbound never scans.  LHR inbound works half of the time, and when it doesn't work they ask that many questions that I'm always quite shocked when they let me through.

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8 hours ago, Mackle said:

 

...  LHR inbound works half of the time, and when it doesn't work they ask that many questions that I'm always quite shocked when they let me through.

 

The UK chip reading machines are terrible!  

I have never had a problem reading my UK passport in Germany.  But it only works about 50% of the time in the UK.

Most of the time now however I am travelling with daughter, so due to her age we have to go through the normal queue so I haven't tried it recently.

 

Last time I travelled alone to LHR for business about 1/3 of the passports were being rejected by the machines!!

 

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7 hours ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

The UK chip reading machines are terrible!  

I have never had a problem reading my UK passport in Germany.  But it only works about 50% of the time in the UK.

Most of the time now however I am travelling with daughter, so due to her age we have to go through the normal queue so I haven't tried it recently.

 

Last time I travelled alone to LHR for business about 1/3 of the passports were being rejected by the machines!!

 

Funny as mine always works at LHR, using it 2 or 3 times a year for the last 3 years but it almost never works at FRA. Really frustrating and annoying for the people in the queues behind.

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Mine stopped working completely (not just in the UK) when the passport was approx 2 years old.  If you believe what you read in the internet, the government bought chips that were guaranteed for 2 years, for use in 10-year passports.

I managed for several years without it working but had a trip to the US and was told I needed to get a new passport. I decided not to risk it.

If you have time, there is an official process, but it can take up to 5 weeks, and then if they determine it is your fault, you then have to apply for a new passport.  Contact details here...

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biometric-passports-and-passport-readers/biometric-passports-and-passport-readers

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