How Long Are Passports Good For?

Posted by Frank Gogol
Updated on April 28, 2022

A passport is an essential travel document for anyone who intends to go out of the country. Whether you are planning your next vacation or you have to go on a business trip, you need a passport. But similar to many other documents, passports lose their validity after a certain amount of time, and you need to renew them if you want to travel internationally.

So, how long are passports good for? Learn everything about it in this article.

How Long Are Passports Good for?

Passports are travel documents that allow individuals to enter foreign countries, and they serve as proof of one’s citizenship. Passports are issued to citizens of all countries. In the United States, the United States Department of State is responsible for issuing passports.

If you want to exit the U.S. or enter the U.S. or a different country as an American citizen, you need to obtain a valid passport. But passport validity does not last forever, so it is important to make sure you have a valid document before you start planning your next vacation.

All passports have an expiration date, which means that once you reach this date, your passport will be unavailable for travel. The date should appear on your travel document. Once you look at it, you will see information regarding the passport’s validity on the inside front cover, right next to your photograph.

Basic information about the document will be presented on the information page, including the surname of the bearer, given names, a place, and date of birth, a photo, and a validity period.

Passport Validity

Usually, a passport is valid for 10 years after the day it was issued if the bearer is 16 years or older. This applies to all adult passports. Meanwhile, children/minors under 16 years of age will get passports with five-year validity.

However, there are some things that you should keep in mind. For instance, even if your passport has not expired when it comes to the document’s validity, there are still some items you need to check.

It is essential to ensure that your passport has blank visa pages for entry visas, as well as exit stamps. The majority of the countries you can travel to need at least one blank page, while others will require two pages.

Also, you must make sure that no terrible damage has been done to your travel document. Any type of damage that greatly affected the passport may make it invalid. For instance, if your passport was ripped apart or it was chewed by your dog, it may not be considered valid.

When Can You Renew Your US Passport?

You may be wondering whether an expired U.S. passport can be renewed.

Well, the good news is that if your travel document has reached its expiration date, you can renew it. An adult passport can be renewed at any time during the document’s validity up until 5 years after its expiration.

You should still have the old passport if you wish to qualify for a renewal. Furthermore, the travel document should be in good condition, with no damage.

As for children/minor passports, they cannot be renewed. If the validity period has passed and the child needs a new passport, they will have to apply in person the same way they did with the first travel document.

Countries that Require Six Months of Passport Validity

Some countries have special requirements for travelers who wish to cross their borders. A valid passport is often not enough to let someone enter. Instead, these countries require six months of passport validity.

According to the entry requirements in most countries, a passport must be valid six more months after you arrive in that country. Similarly, in some other situations, the passport should still be valid six months after the exit date. A lot of countries in South America and Asia have these rules.

This is why before traveling to any country, you must check their passport requirements so you do not have unpleasant surprises at the point of entry.

How to Renew Your Passport?

In order to renew your passport, you need to submit a passport renewal application by mail. You can make an appointment at the Regional Passport Agency by calling 1-877-487-2778; TDD/TTY: 1-888-874-7793 from Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 10 PM ET. On weekends or federal holidays, the appointment line is not open.

When you go to your appointment, you need an expedited fee and evidence of immediate travel. You should also have a few documents on you. These include your application form, passport photo, your most recent passport (if you still have it), payment, and a court order of your name change or a certified copy of the marriage certificate if you changed names.

What Can You Do If You Lose a Passport?

Losing your passport will require getting a new one if you intend to travel soon. You can apply for a new passport and then just complete an extra passport form where you declare that you’ve lost the previous passport.

How Long Are Passports Good for FAQ

If you still have questions regarding passport validity and renewal, we’ve prepared a list with the most frequently asked questions with their answers:

How long is my US passport valid?

Passports that were issued for children/minors who are younger than 16 years are valid for five years. Adult passports, more specifically passports issued to individuals 16 years old or older, have a validity of 10 years.

How long must my passport be valid for international travel?

Each country has its own requirements regarding the validity of a traveler’s passport. For the most part, countries ask for a passport to be valid for at least six months beyond a trip’s completion.

So, if the passport expires before that, applying for a renewal is mandatory. Since each country is different, you must check out the requirements for each location before you travel.

Do my children require US passports?

If you intend to travel with a minor, the child will also require a U.S. passport. All individual citizens including infants must obtain passports.

An adult passport cannot be used to represent other citizens or include other family members, even if they are minors. One passport is required for each person who wishes to travel internationally.

How old must my children be to apply for a child passport?

To apply for a child passport, your children must be 15 years old or younger. If they are older than 15, they will have to apply for an adult passport with 10-year validity.

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Final Thoughts

Passports last for 10 years if you applied for an adult passport, and 5 years for child passports. Before you travel to any country, you must make sure that your passport is still valid. Also, you should check the passport requirements for every country to make sure your passport meets all the rules. If you do everything right, you will be able to travel with no issues.


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