Passport Graveyard - What do you do with your expired passport?

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Rainy day today, so I was cleaning out some old files (don't I lead an exciting existence?).

I ran across all my passports dating back to the very first about 30 years ago.

What to do with them? Given they've rested in an archive box for the best part of a cascading 20 years or so without the least amount of interest from me, I decided to discard them........not before gazing in wonder at the handsome young guy in the photos.

So, out of interest, what do the collective of AFF do with their expired passports?

For the record, I cut out the photos of that handsome guy and filed them back in the same archive box......they might be worth money one day! The rest I burned in the fireplace tonight so please don't tell me I just committed a crime :shock:, or worse still, that they were worth hard cold cash!
 

deejo77

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Sorry I only have 1 "expired" passport - it has some really cool stamps and visa's in it that hold many memories - it is with my current passport in my bedside table - I seriously doubt I could ever throw it out
 

LadyC

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I have all of my own (the very first one was with my mum I think but no longer have that ). I travelled as a youngster so it is a good reminder of some of the places I have been. I love all the different visas and stamps .
 
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I have kept all mine :) nice looking back to see where I went with all the stamps :) I'm 31 now so have them since I was 6 months old (1983). Only gap I have was between 10 - 16 years old.
 

RooFlyer

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Sorry, to me, as a family historian, there has been a crime committed :( In an increasingly digital world, a passport is a rare hardcopy with evidence of your life and goings-on that could survive for hundreds of years.

I have my mum and dad's passports, and my own old ones in a file marked in bold letters "Do not Destroy" (there's about a metre of shelf space of family history files so marked) and my will specifies that xx_ doesn't get their goodies until they undertake to preserve everything labeled that way. Yes, I'm serious.
 

defurax

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I think it's more cautious to keep all your old passports when possible. For anyone who has lived/worked in multiple countries, visa stamps in passport are often the only proof of entry (resuming residence) that will be accepted by most governments (e.g for pension).
It is true that Australia keeps good record of entry/exit, but a lot of countries do not record when you exited the country, so the arrival stamp in another country is the only proof of exit.
I'm not near retirement age, but I know many expats here and abroad who have encountered problems proving when they first entered a country.
 

outbackowner

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I shredded one a few years ago which had a stamp from Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin from 1982 when it was an entry point to East Germany
whilst on a Contiki tour.

Not happy at all!
 

codash1099

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I have mine back to 1969, the first time I flew international. They are the only way I can track my travel.

I do wish that stamping passports wasn't in decline.
 

Cat207

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I still have my passports, dating back to issue 12/05/1977 for my first international flight, on Pan Am - SYD to SFO, as a very green 18 yo. There are some things that are worth keeping.
 

juddles

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...The rest I burned in the fireplace....!

Interesting topic swanning - thank you :)

I suspect I am the same as most - have all mine still and would never dream of getting rid of them, even though they just sit in a cupboard somewhere.

I am particularly fond of my first one, obtained at the age of two when my family moved to England in the early 70´s - a trip made on a propeller-driven aircraft. I love that passport as in the signature área is printed simply: ¨Unable to Sign¨ I think I showed that to my kids once, but they were far more excited with their own passports.

I have another passport with my entrance stamp to Machu Picchu - again important to me but noone else. That particular passport ended up being washed and caused me a nightmare stuck in South America. (Try getting a passport reissued whilst physically in Colombia)

From when I was a child my parents always reinforced on me just how important a document a passport is. Authorities continue that emphasis. And your CURRENT passport is a truly valuable ítem. So we all hold them in some sort of awe. But truly, scanning the old ones and burning them probably makes sense. But the same applies for almost any physical document/photo/etc.

But I will never let go of mine :)
 

whatmeworry

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I keep all my old passports not just for my use but remember your descendents will get a kick out what their relatives traveled to.
 

dajop

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I have mine back to 1969, the first time I flew international. They are the only way I can track my travel.

I do wish that stamping passports wasn't in decline.

It depends, I'd be going through passports much faster if I got a stamp every time I entered Singapore or Australia, so glad they don't, and as a corollary I can't use my passport to track my travel between the two countries (at least since I became resident in Sing.) as there is no stamp relating to the travel at all.

But I understand the sentiment, it's sort of neat to flick through and recall the stories behind the stamps. As it happened I stumbled across my first two passports today, and the first one, issued in 1992 was interesting, flicking through and in particular seeing tourist visas for places they are no longer required for Australians, such as France and Spain.
 

Major

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I am on my 6th passport and cherish them all. The 1st one was issued in 1969 and is marked "Not valid for North Vietnam"
It contains stamps from every Country in Europe (at the time) as well as the USSR. East and West Germany. Also North Africa and Hong Kong, Singapore. The US guard at "Checkpoint Charlie" also stamped this passport for me.

I show these passport photos to my kids and they can't believe it's me.

It's very gratifying to look back at these old passports from time to time, to remember your travels
 

DElliott

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I have kept all of mine - the first one obtained in 1977.Has stamps in in from places that don't exist any more ! A great moment of my travels over the years.
 
D

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So popular consensus is that I've committed a travel sin. Oh well, I really can't say I'm devastated, there is a limit to how much junk one can hoard. The photos of my earlier trips mean much more to me than passports and the fact stamping is on the way out, sort of justified my decision somewhat. When the day comes that we no longer have passports, I'd be keen to keep my last one for prosperity, but 20 years without so much as a look.....sorry, gone.
 

Buzzard

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I have what I think is my mums first passport. A nice hard cover one.
In it my mum has simply written the names and date of birth of us kids. No photos of the children.
That was simply good enough in those days. By virtue of my name being in that passport and I did travel on that passport, it must be my first passport too.
 

jojen

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I will definitely be keeping my 1st passport, to be renewed this year.

It was issued on MY birthday. I was so excited to see that when it arrived. Also has a visa for Turkey , issued on our first visit to Istanbul on the first page. Istanbul is one of my favourite cities so also thrilled with that !!

As others have said, a bit of family history for the kids and grand kids to browse through one day.

jojen
 
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