What Are the Rules for Using a Passport That Is Expiring Soon?


Quick Answer

The United States Department of State recommends that travelers renew passports before traveling if the passports are valid for six months or less. The 26 European countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement require travelers' passports to be valid 90 days after the intended departure date.

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Full Answer

United States passports have an expiration date printed inside the front cover next to the holder's photograph. Passports aren't valid travel documents after their expiration dates. Many airlines deny boarding to travelers whose passports expire too soon, and customs officials are strict about following expiration date guidelines. Travelers are responsible for educating themselves on entry guidelines for the countries they visit, and they can locate updated information for each country on the U.S. Department of State website.

The United Kingdom doesn't enforce any minimum time to passports' expiration dates, as of October 2015. Israel doesn't require six-month validity, but many airlines that serve the country deny boarding to travelers with passport expiration dates fewer than six months away. Canada and Mexico don't have a six-month rule for American travelers, but Belize and Honduras do. Nicaragua's policies vary depending on the nature of travelers' visits. Russia demands six-month passport validity after travelers' intended exit date from the country.

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