How often do you have to renew your passport?

Published by Travel Visa Pro on Wed Nov 28 2018

Many travelers don’t often pay attention to the expiration date on their passport between trips, but this can be a mistake. Some countries only allow entry if you have at least six months’ validity left on your passport book. Though most adults have ten-year passport books and cards, there are some passports that require earlier renewals for different reasons. How often do you have to renew a passport?


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How often to renew children’s passports

Anyone who applies for a passport before the age of 16 must do with both parents or guardians. Children qualify for both passport books and cards, which are only valid for five years. Therefore, anyone traveling internationally with a children will probably need to renew their documents every 4.5 years (making sure to always keep six months’ validity).

The latest any US citizen could hold a child’s passport would be just before their 21st birthday – if their parents happened to apply just shy of one’s 16th birthday. Many people choose to renew earlier to get the application process for a ten-year document out of the way.

How often to renew second passports

Many US citizens hold more than one passport, especially since the requirement was enforced to no longer add pages to an existing passport. These second passport books or cards are valid for only four years, and have the same restrictions for entry to foreign countries as any ten-year document; after 3+ years, keep a close eye on the expiration date.

How often to renew standard passport books

For travelers who already have a ten-year passport – assuming it wasn’t issued more than fifteen years ago – there is the option of applying for a renewal in person at a regional passport agency in the United States or any embassy or consulate abroad. Both applications abroad and in the US can also be accepted by mail.

Unlike first-time applicants, who must provide proof of citizenship in person for verification, those needing a renewal can present their expired passport book or card every 10-15 years as proof. Those who wait more than five years from the date their passport expires no longer qualify for a renewal and will have to go through the same application process as first timers.

How long does a passport renewal take in an emergency?

Passport renewal applications can be expedited in just a few business days if you provide proof of immediate travel, especially if these reasons include a medical emergency or a death in the family. In-person applications like these allow you to verify the start date of the passport, while you may lose a few days for a passport renewed submitted through the mail.

If you do need to leave the country within a few business days, make an appointment at the closest regional passport agency and provide proof of travel and documentation surrounding the reason. The time for processing your application is still dependent on the number of applicants at that location and whether it’s peak travel season, but sometimes renewed passport books can be returned within 1-3 business days.

Passport book and card applications processed in an emergency are still valid for the full ten years, despite their expediency. The sole exception to the expiration date of emergency passports are limited validity documents issued abroad at a US embassy or consulate; these documents cannot be renewed, and are only used to finish an international trip or return home.

Shorten the time to renew your passport with Travel Visa Pro

The bottom line? You should renew your adult passport every 9-10 years, but can wait up to fifteen years from the day it was issued to get a renewal without any further complications. Next to checking your passport’s expiration date and getting an up-to-date photo, filling out Form DS-82 and making an appointment at a regional passport center agency are probably the most time consuming tasks for a passport renewal.

If you’re unsure about which documents you need to gather to apply for a passport renewal or would like more information about whether you need six months’ validity traveling to certain countries, call one of the nine staffed Travel Visa Pro locations and a travel expert will get back to you quickly. With TVP, passport renewals take only as long as you want them to take.

Have you checked the expiration date on your passport recently?

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