The do's and don'ts of traveling with a passport near its expiration date
You’ve planned your trip, booked your tickets and checked your passport’s expiration date. It doesn’t expire for a couple months, so you’re good to go; right? Maybe not. Did you know that many countries do not allow you to enter if your passport expires in fewer than six months? Because of this, airlines will sometimes not let you onto the plane if you’re within that time frame. So, can you travel with a passport that expires in two months? It’s a good idea to check the details before you leave.
What does it mean to have a valid passport, anyway?
And how many years is a passport good for? Technically, a passport is valid for 10 years if obtained when you’re 16 years of age or older and five years if you’re younger than 16. Since most countries require six months’ validity left on your passport, though, it’s a good idea to renew it early. The U.S. State Department recommends that you renew it nine months before it’s due to expire.
How long can you travel with a passport before it expires?
Once you’re in another country, you may be able to stay longer with a visa. Some countries are more relaxed than others about the requirements for an extended stay, so it is a good idea to research country-specific information. If you’re already in the country and your passport expires, you can apply for a new one at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate.
So, to recap, a few do’s and don’ts:
- Do your research about the country you plan to visit, and make sure you know the laws regarding passports and visas.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to renew your passport, as the process can take up to six weeks.
- Do renew your passport nine months before it expires, if possible.
- Don’t be caught unaware and risk not being allowed onto the plane.
- Do enjoy your trip!