When preparing for your next vacation, it is easy to let your passport expiration date fall by the wayside as you concentrate on more apparent tasks, such as booking transport to the airport and coming up with travel itineraries. But if you want to make sure not to avoid disappointment at the airport, making sure you are on top of your passport renewal is one task you should not ignore!
It is All Too Easy to Forget Your Passport Renewal Date!
As a United States passport can last up to ten years, it is amazingly easy to let the date for renewal of passports slip your mind and not realize that you have a problem until it is too late to rectify.
As a rule of thumb, you should check that your passport expiration date is not within six months of the dates of your booked travel. This is because of the varying passport regulations regarding international travel.
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Passport Date Regulations Can Vary with International Travel
In the United States, travelers can use their passports until the exact expiry date on the document. However, this is not always the case in other countries. Different locations can vary with more lenient or stricter conventions, with some locations requiring you to have six more months on your passport before you are allowed entry.
You can check the passport expiration date rules for different locations by consulting the Before You Go section on the US Department of State Website.
Suppose you have not traveled in a while or are traveling to a new location with unfamiliar rules. In that case, you should check your passport expiration date and the rules of your destination to make sure you do not run into any problems when you try to travel.
How Longs Does Passport Renewal Take?
If you have checked your passport expiration date and started panicking about your carefully laid vacation plans, do not worry yet! There may be time to resolve the issue before it becomes a problem, but you need to get started immediately!
Routine processing for the renewal of passports can vary between eight to eleven weeks. But you can accelerate the process by choosing expedited passport renewal, which should take between four and six weeks if you pay the fee of $60.
You can get an expedited passport renewal by sending forms by mail, or else apply for renewal of passports at your nearest Passport Acceptance Facility, which should be quicker than if you mail your application.
How Much Are Passport Renewal Fees?
The price for passport renewal can vary, and you should check the government renewal page for the most up-to-date information. Currently, an adult passport renewal is $130, with an additional fee of $30 for your Passport Card.
How Do Get a Passport Renewal?
In many cases, you will find that you do not need to apply for your passport in person but can apply for a renewal by mail. However, if you do not qualify for the terms in the section below, you must arrange an appointment with a local Passport Services location to renew your passport.
How Do you Qualify For Renewal of Passport by Mail?
To qualify for passport renewal by mail, you need to adhere to the requirements below:
- Your passport should be undamaged
- The passport needs to be issued within the last fifteen years
- Your passport needs to have been valid within the last ten years
- The passport should have your current name (or you should have legal documentation as proof of your name change)
What Do You Need For Your Passport Renewal Application?
- You will need to have completed Form DS-82 and signed it
- You need to have your most recent US passport
- You need a Passport Photo
- Payment of the $130 Passport Renewal Application Fee (non-refundable)
- Legal documentation to support a change of name (this can include your marriage certificate, statutory declaration, or change of name deed)
- If you are going to mail your application, you will need to include a return delivery envelope with your application
Can You Get An Emergency Passport Renewal?
If you have an emergency where you cannot wait for the normal passport renewal processing time, you can apply for an emergency processing. This could mean an acceptance for renewal of passports, allowing travel within 72 hours.
You should note that missing out on the return of your vacation fees does not constitute an emergency**. An emergency is considered a life-or-death situation, such as when an immediate family member has passed away or is in a life-threatening state in a foreign country**.
Who qualifies as an immediate family member for an emergency passport renewal?
According to the US Travel.State.Gov website, an immediate family member is a parent, spouse, child, legal guardian, sibling, or grandparent. Other family members, such as uncles, aunts, and cousins, do not qualify for this process.
Summary: How Long Does Passport Renewal Take?
Checking your passport expiration date only takes a few minutes and can save you stress later down the line! However, if you have checked and realized that your passport expiration date does not meet your booked travel needs, you must act immediately.
If you need to renew your passport, you should expect a wait of approximately eight to eleven weeks, but you can speed this up by using the expedited service if you think you might be risking your passport validity for your next destination.
But the best way to avoid disappointment and the extra cost is to ensure that you note down your passport renewal date in an easy-to-reach spot, so you can check each time you book your travel.
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