Unlike yearly school portraits or your profile picture on Facebook, government-issued identification doesn’t always show the natural progression of one’s age. While the latter are updated every year (and in the case of the highly active Facebook user, once a week), driver’s license and passport photos often show a person frozen in time. Such was the case for 37 year-old British resident Derrick Agyeman who was denied entry at British customs because his face didn’t match the one in his passport photo.
The problem started because Agyeman hadn’t updated his passport for nine years. Of course, after nine years, some changes in one’s face are expected in the form or aging or even a new hairstyle. While these changes aren’t usually problematic at the border, for Agyeman — who had left for a weekend holiday with friends on a visit to Amsterdam — the nine year difference was a huge problem, or at least a 68 lb problem.
Over the past nine years, as Agyeman had been gaining weight and he hadn’t updated his passport to show the ‘difference in the thickness of his ears and lips,’ which is at least a polite way of stating the obvious.
Agyeman was forced to spend three months waiting in Amsterdam for his passport to be approved, during which time he started to file an appeal with the British Foreign Office. He initially lost, but is reportedly still considering further appeals. Says Agyeman, “I cry when I think about what happened to me.”