What is a machine readable passport?

A Machine Readable Passport (MRP) is a travel document with the data on the identity page encoded in optical character recognition format. MRP’s have biographical data entered on the data page in accordance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This text appears in a special machine-readable zone (MRZ), which is usually at the bottom of the identity page. Encoded in this zone, is the bearer’s name; date of birth, and other personal details

Why are Machine Readable Passports being used?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had mandated all contracting states; of which Trinidad and Tobago is a member, to begin issuing Machine Readable Passports no later than April 1, 2010. Additionally the ICAO set a deadline of the 24th November 2015 for globally phasing out all non-Machine Readable Passports (MRPs).  From the 25th November 2015, persons who are holders of non-MRP passports may be denied boarding access, visas or entry to any foreign country.

My old (hand written) passport is still valid. Can I use it to travel?

NO. In accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines, passports which are not machine readable can no longer be used for travel even if they are not yet expired.

Where should I apply for a Machine Readable Passport?

Outside of Trinidad and Tobago Machine Readable Passports can be obtained from the following Missions:

  •  Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – Washington, DC
  •  Consulate General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – New York
  •  Consulate General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – Miami
  •  Consulate General for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – Toronto, Canada
  •  High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – London, UK
  •  Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – Caracas, Venezuela
  •  Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Beijing, China

What documents do I need to provide when applying for the Machine Readable Passport?

  • A completed application form – ALL applicable sections should be completed.
  • Documentary Evidence that you hold Citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago: Computer Generated Birth Certificate, Affidavit (if applicable), Registration Certificate, Naturalization Certificate,  Adoption Certificate with a pin number.   In cases of Citizenship by Descent two things must be established 1. Proof of the applicants’ country of birth (i.e. Birth certificate, passport etc.) 2. Evidence of parents Trinidad and Tobago citizenship – ALL documents of the applicants parents inclusive of their Computer Generated Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Affidavits and their Passports. (Note: If you have previously lost your Trinidad and Tobago Citizenship you MUST present your Restoration or Re-acquisition Certificate).  Please refer to the checklist stated below this section for additional documents needed.
  • Most recent Trinidad and Tobago Passport (provided that you were ever issued one)
  •  ALL Marriage Certificates; Divorce or Death Certificates of spouse (specific to women only)
  • Evidence of acquiring citizenship of any country other than Trinidad and Tobago – e.g. U.S. Naturalization Certificate.
  • Other forms of Identification e.g. Identification cards, Driver’s License, Alien Registration Card etc. 
  • Evidence of name change (if applicable)
  • This is not a complete list. Please refer to the checklist below for any additional documents that may be required.

N.B: Original documents must be produced at the time of your interview (refer to checklist at foreign.gov.tt/embwashington).

How long will the Machine Readable Passport be valid for?

Effective 1st August, 2016 MRP’s are valid for

  • Ten years for applicants 16 years and over.
  • Five years for children under 16 years.
Can I apply for the Machine Readable Passport by mail?

NO. All first time applicants for the Machine Readable Passport must appear in person at a designated Immigration Office to be interviewed and photographed in keeping with ICAO specifications. Subsequent renewals of the MRP can be facilitated by mail, provided that the applicant is over 16 years of age.

I was born in Trinidad and Tobago but I do not have the computer generated birth certificate. Can I still apply for my first Machine Readable Passport?

No. Persons must acquire their Trinidad and Tobago Computer Generated Birth Certificate before applying for their 1st MRP. Your options for acquiring a computer generated birth certificate (if you reside in the United States of America) includes;  contacting a relative or friend in Trinidad and Tobago to apply to the Registrar General’s Department on your behalf, or submitting a request to the New York or Miami Consulate. Currently the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington D.C. does not facilitate the issuance Computer Generated Birth Certificates.

How long will it take from the time I apply for the Machine Readable Passport to the time I receive my Machine Readable Passport?

There is a 4 - 8 week waiting period for persons who currently hold  a MRP. For persons who do not have a MRP the processing time is approximately  6 -12 weeks. In the interim you will be allowed to retain your current passport, until the new passport is ready to be issued. 

How can I travel in the event of an emergency?

Emergency Travel Documents are issued to Trinidad and Tobago nationals for ONE WAY EMERGENCY TRAVEL TO Trinidad and Tobago only. In cases of personal or family emergencies contact our office immediately at 202-467-6490 Ext 1003. An Emergency Travel Document may be issued once an emergency has occurred. This document can be provided once supporting documents (proof of the emergency) is produced, e.g. Death Certificate. All Emergency Travel Documents are issued at the discretion of the Immigration officer. Application and guidelines are available at foreign.gov.tt/embwashington.

What is the cost of the new Machine Readable Passport?

The cost of passports at Embassy in Washington D.C is as follows:-

  • Regular 32 pg. book – USD $60.00 
  • Business 48 pg. book - USD $76.00 
  • Replacement of valid Lost, damaged or mutilated book – USD $180.00  
  • Children under 2 years – USD $20.00
  • Persons Over 60 years – USD $20.00

Fees are to be paid in the form of a money order made payable to the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago. No cash or any other form of payment will be accepted.

Can the Embassy in Washington mail my new passport to me?

Yes. Persons who live in the USA and would like to have their passports mailed to them MUST provide the following:

  1. Authorization letter, giving the Embassy permission to mail their passports and any original documents to them. This letter must have the applicants name and address where the passport should be mailed.
  2. Old passport to be cancelled.
  3. Postage in the amount of $23.75 in the form of a money order made payable to the Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago. This postage fee is subject to change in accordance with current local postage rates. 

My passport is lost. What should I do?

  • Any Passport that is lost should be immediately reported to the Immigration section at the Embassy or Consulate closest to you 
  • Submit a Lost Stolen or Mutilated Passport Notification form 
  • A police incident report MUST be obtained, it is mandatory

Additional documents are required please see the checklist for Lost Stolen or Mutilated Trinidad and Tobago passports; available online at foreign.gov.tt/embwashington


I do NOT have an Alien Registration Card /Green Card can I still apply for my Trinidad and Tobago passport?

YES. Not having an Alien Registration Card does not disqualify you from applying for a renewal of your passport. However, if you are the holder of an Alien Registration Card it must be produced at the time of your application.

Do I have to produce proof of acquisition of citizenship of any country other than Trinidad and Tobago when applying for my Trinidad and Tobago Passport?

YES.  If you are a Naturalized citizen of any country other than Trinidad and Tobago and the holder of a foreign passport; both the Naturalization Certificate and the foreign passport must be produced at the time of your application. 

Trinidad and Tobago nationals who voluntarily became citizens of another country before 29th July, 1988 may have lost their T&T citizenship. Persons who fall in this category should contact the Embassy to determine if they have lost their Trinidad and Tobago citizenship and if so be informed about the process of having their Trinidad and Tobago citizenship restored.  Any person who has lost or renounced their citizenship of Trinidad and Tobago must first have their citizenship restored before applying for a renewal of their Trinidad and Tobago passport.

Why do I have to produce ALL these documents when I previously had a Trinidad and Tobago Passport?

If you are applying for your 1st MRP then all original documents must be produced because your information will now be linked to your new Computer Generated Birth Certificate Pin Number. All of your documents will now have to be scanned and computerized. 

Do I require passport photos?

Photos are required only if you are renewing your Machine Readable Passport (MRP) via mail or drop off. If you have lost your passport, photos must be submitted with the application. Photos are not required for applicants who are applying for their first Machine Readable passport.

What if I cannot find a Recommender in the US?

Trinidad and Tobago citizens residing in the US who cannot find a suitable recommender will have that section waived.

What is the address and hours of operation of the Immigration Section at the Embassy in Washington D.C.?

Each Embassy High Commission and Consulate office operates with individual hours. The hours of operation of the Immigration Section located within the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington D.C.  are stated below.

Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington DC 20036

Contact: (202) 467-6490 Ext. 1003

Fax:       (202) 785-3130

Immigration Office hours: Mon – Fri 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington D.C. (and by extension the Immigration Office) will be closed in observance of the following Holidays in 2017


New Year’s Day - *Sunday January 01, 2017

Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. - Monday January 16, 2017

Good Friday - Friday April 14, 2017

Easter Monday - Monday April 17, 2017

Memorial Day - Monday May 29, 2017

Labour Day - Monday June 19, 2017

US Independence Day - Tuesday July 04, 2017

Independence Day - Thursday August 31, 2017

US Labour Day - Monday September 04, 2017

Republic Day - **Sunday September 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Day - Thursday November 23, 2017

Christmas Day - Monday December 25, 2017

Boxing Day - Tuesday December 26, 2017