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Woman Travels With Daughter's Passport and Officials Don't Notice

British passport

With so much security in place at borders, you’d think that someone would notice that a woman was traveling with a passport that’s not her own or even close to her age. That wasn’t the case for one British woman.

Anita Turner, 58, accidentally picked up her daughter, Rebecca’s passport instead of her own for a road trip to Belgium with friends. Turner had already made it past three separate security checkpoints on her way to Belgium and only realized her passport mistake when she got to the Port of Dover, Kent.

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Turner told Metro.co.uk, “We went down to the docks in the morning. My friend noticed I had the wrong passport when she was about to hand them over to a woman in the booth in order to get our tickets. I thought that would be the end of the trip, I felt awful because I was the driver. But I decided to go ahead even though I knew I wouldn’t get through.”

“But incredibly, the woman accepted it and just told us which lane to get into.”

She was waved through going through the U.K. and Belgium by Border Force officials, shocking the mother.

On the return journey, Turner was sure she’d be stopped trying to re-enter the U.K.

“When we were coming home, I pulled up at the dock and my friend handed over the passports again and everything was okay at the first checkpoint,“ she said.

“But then we went to the second one and I thought it would get picked up. So, I got there, and the man asked us to wind down our windows so he could see everyone. He took all our passports and read out everyone’s name and had a look at us,” Turner recounted.

“When he got to my passport, I didn’t really want to answer when he said Rebecca. I said yes and he looked at my photo, then he looked at me and then he started doing something in his booth. But then he just told us which lane to get into. We couldn’t believe it.”

Anita and her daughter Rebecca have a 28-year age gap, with Rebecca’s passport stating she is 30 years old.

According to the U.K. Border Force, this experience was a fluke. In a statement to Metro.co.uk, they said:

“Border Force officers are rigorously trained to prevent those using fraudulent documents from entering the country. Our officers are also involved in the training of airline staff and immigration officers overseas to spot false documents to stop people from even beginning their journey to the UK.”

They added, “Between April 2010 and December 2018 more than 159,000 people were refused entry to the UK, including those refused for traveling on invalid documentation.”

If Border Force in the U.K. is trained to spot these discrepancies (and presumably the same is done with Belgium officials), the question remains: what was it about Turner and her daughter’s passport that had officials ignoring or not noticing the discrepancy in the photo and age?

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