What Are the Key U.S. Passport Expiration Rules?


Quick Answer

Passports issued to those 16 years of age and older are valid for 10 years and those issued to children up to the age 15 expire at the end of five years. Passports must also be valid for at least six months after the return date of most international trips.

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What Are the Key U.S. Passport Expiration Rules?
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Full Answer

The passport's expiration date is calculated using the issue date that is found on the main information page. Passport cards, which have the same validity time lines, have the issue date on the front of the cards. The wallet-sized passport cards are valid for entering Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda by land or sea. They are not valid for air travel.

The six-month validity requirement applies to most countries. At the time of flight check-in, an airline may deny boarding of any passenger that does not meet that requirement. . A few countries, such as Canada, don't invoke the six-month rule for U.S. Citizens, but if for some reason that flight had to land elsewhere, validity could be an issue. The six months rule also makes it easier to extend or alter an itinerary, either by personal choice or due to an illness or other emergency.

Expedited passport renewals are available. Options include expedited service using express mail, visiting an Authorized Passport Acceptance Facility or making an appointment at a U.S. Department of State Passport Agency.

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