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What happens if you use blue ink on passport?

Passports are important legal documents that allow citizens to travel internationally. There are specific rules and guidelines for completing passport applications, including requirements for which color ink can be used.

Passport Ink Color Rules

Most countries specify that only black ink should be used when filling out passport applications. This applies to both new passport applications and renewing expired passports. Using any color other than black ink is generally not recommended and can cause potential issues or delays with obtaining or renewing a passport.

Here are the typical rules for passport ink color:

  • United States – Only black ink allowed
  • Canada – Only black ink allowed
  • United Kingdom – Only black ink allowed
  • Australia – Only black ink allowed
  • New Zealand – Only blue or black ink allowed

As you can see, the majority of countries specify that only black ink should be used. New Zealand is one exception that allows blue ink. But in general, any other color ink besides black or blue is risky and not recommended.

Consequences of Using Blue Ink

So what happens if you use blue ink to fill out your passport application instead of the recommended black ink? Here are the potential consequences:

  • Delay in processing – Using the wrong color ink can slow down processing times as your application may be flagged for review.
  • Rejection – In some cases, your entire passport application could be rejected due to the wrong ink color, requiring you to re-do and re-submit the application.
  • Request to re-do application – You may be asked to complete a new application using black ink and resubmit.
  • Added administrative hassle – Using blue ink adds challenges and administrative work for passport officials in confirming form details.
  • Mistaken for fraud – Colored ink could be mistaken as an attempt at forgery or fraud, triggering increased scrutiny.

While in some cases blue ink may be accepted, it can potentially lead to a lot of added frustration and delay compared to following the instructions and using black ink as recommended.

Tips for Filling Out Passport Application

To avoid any issues or holdups when applying for a passport, follow these tips:

  • Use black ink only – Stick to black ballpoint ink when filling out your passport application.
  • Print legibly – Use neat and legible printing to complete the form.
  • Check requirements – Verify the latest passport rules for ink color and printing from official sources.
  • Complete fully – Follow all instructions carefully and provide all required information.
  • Have proper photos – Submit passport photos that meet the size, background, and other specifications.

Following all application instructions carefully is important to get your passport processed as quickly as possible. Using black ink is a key requirement for most countries.

Exceptions Where Blue Ink Allowed

While most countries require black ink only, there are some exceptions. As mentioned previously, New Zealand currently allows applicants to use either black or blue ink when completing passport applications.

Here are some other scenarios where blue ink may be allowed:

  • Children’s passport applications – Some countries allow blue ink for minors under a certain age, such as under 16 years old.
  • Passport renewals – Blue ink may be accepted for passport renewals, but black ink is still recommended.
  • Certain signatures – Signatures in blue ink are sometimes accepted, though black is preferred.

However, these cases are exceptions and standard practice is still to use black ink. When in doubt, it’s always advisable to stick to black ink if you want to avoid any potential issues with your passport application.

What Type of Blue Ink Causes Problems

All shades of blue ink have the potential to cause issues when used on passport applications instead of black ink. However, there are some specific types of blue ink that are more problematic than others:

  • Light blue ink – Very light shades of blue that are hard to see could lead to processing errors or missed information.
  • Blue gel ink – Gel pen ink is more prone to smudging and clarity issues.
  • Metallic blue ink – Shimmery or metallic blue looks less official and may raise concerns.
  • Blue highlighter – Highlighters are temporary and don’t provide the permanence needed.

Darker navy blue ink has the least issues, but problems could still occur compared to standard black ink recommended by passport programs.

How to Fix Passport Application Completed in Blue Ink

If you realize your mistake after completing your passport application in blue ink instead of the required black ink, here are some options to remedy the situation:

  • Submit the application as-is, with an explanation letter and request for consideration.
  • Complete a new application using black ink and submit the new one.
  • Use black ink to go over any blue writing and make it appear black.
  • Contact the passport office to explain and request guidance.

The best options are to either re-do the application properly in black ink, or add a cover letter asking the passport office to accept your blue-inked version. This provides them context if the wrong ink color is noticed.

If time permits, it’s wisest to complete and submit a new application using only the recommended black ballpoint ink. This guarantees your application follows all requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • Black ink is required for passport applications in most countries.
  • Using blue ink can lead to delays, added hassle, or rejection of your application.
  • Stick to black ballpoint ink and print legibly to avoid any issues.
  • If you use blue ink, re-doing the application in black ink is the best remedy.
  • Use caution when there are exceptions allowing blue ink, as black is still the safest choice.

Following passport application instructions properly the first time saves stress and avoids problems later in the process. Be sure to use only black ink as directed to give yourself the best chance for quick and smooth passport approval.

This covers the key points on problems with blue ink on passport applications. Let me know if you would like me to expand or modify anything in this draft article.