Are you planning to travel internationally? Is it a while since you left the country last? If it has been a while since you last left the country, now is the time to get out your passport and see when it expires. It’s time to renew if it’s due or near expiration.


Here are some tips and tricks to help you update your passport, how often it should be renewed, how long they last and when.


How long can passports last?


What year was it that you got your U.S. passport. The validity of your passport will depend on when you applied.


  • Your passport is valid for five year if you are under 16.


  • Your passport is valid for 10 years if you are 16 years old or older at the time it was issued.


It is not only annoying to renew your passport every five years but it is also very practical. A 1-year-old child will look very different when they are 6.


When is it time to renew your passport


You may need to renew your passport for a variety of reasons.


1. It’s not valid anymore


Your passport may have expired. This is the first reason why you will want to renew it. This may only be necessary if your passport was issued in the last few years. It may have been a while since you last renewed if you are older.

You should research any regulations that may apply to your destination before you travel. To travel to Europe, for example, you must have at least six months validity before you leave. This applies whether you are traveling for two days, or two months.


This could lead to denied boarding if you don’t research it beforehand.


2. It’s due to expire soon


Resources like USA.gov or the U.S. Department of State suggest that travelers who have a passport due to expire soon renew it as soon as possible, especially if they are planning on traveling internationally.


Certain countries like Vietnam, Thailand and China require at least six months validity for a passport to be allowed entry.


3. It can be damaged


Did you ever forget your passport? Then wash it and dry it. No? No?


Passports are subject to normal wear and tear. However, passports that have been severely damaged will need to be replaced.


This is especially true when the book cover is damaged. Since 2007, all U.S. passports include an integrated chip that records your personal information. This allows you bypass the long lines at immigration and to pass through electronic passport gates.


4. If it is full


It’s a good thing to have this problem, but if your passport is full it’s time for you to replace it. How are you supposed get new stamps if they’re not available?


Do your research about your destination before you attempt to use a passport that is nearly full. Some countries require you to have at least two pages of blank paper in order to enter.


You may be able to extend your passport if you fill up your passport too soon. Standard passport books are 28 pages. A longer passport will have 52 pages.


When is the best time to renew your passport


You may be asking, “Should my passport expire before I renew it?” The U.S. government says that the best time to renew your passport is nine months prior to it expiring. You have plenty of time to complete your paperwork, mail it in, and get your new passport before your old one expires.


It is possible to renew your passport even if it has expired. You can apply for a renewal even if your passport was issued less than 15-years ago. You will need to complete the DS-82 form.

If your passport was issued prior to your 16th birthday or if it was stolen, damaged, lost, or stolen, or if you don’t have any legal documentation proving that your name has changed.


In such cases, you will need to apply for a passport renewal using the DS-11 form.


How do I renew my passport


There are several ways to renew your passport. A new online application process has been developed by the U.S. government that is much easier than applying via mail.

To do this, navigate to the online renewal site. You can create an account from there and start your application.


Online renewal is not available for everyone. To be eligible, you need to meet certain requirements. These include:


  • A person older than 25.


  • A passport at least nine years of age but not older than fifteen years.


  • This is a tourist passport application.


  • You don’t have to change your information.

Tip


As soon as your online renewal application is submitted, your current passport will be cancelled.


If you do not fall under these categories, you might have to renew your passport the old-fashioned way. You will need to mail in your paperwork, a passport photo and a complete renewal application.


If you are planning to travel soon and your passport is not up-to-the-mark, it is possible to get a new passport fast. The standard processing time is six to nine weeks. However, if you travel within the next 14 day you can schedule an appointment at a passport agent.


Are you unsure when to renew your passport


While international travel can be an exciting adventure, it can also prove nerve-wracking.


Double-check your passport and the regulations of your destination before you book your trip. If you don’t have a passport renewal, you should take a new picture and submit it.


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