How Many Years Can a President Serve?


Quick Answer

According to the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a president can serve only two terms, or 8 years in office. In exceptional circumstances, it is possible for a former vice president to serve 10 years as president.

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How Many Years Can a President Serve?
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Full Answer

The 22nd Amendment was passed in Congress in 1947, immediately following Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency. Roosevelt served three full terms and part of a fourth before his death; he was the first and only president to serve more than two terms.

The 22nd Amendment limits a president's number of terms to two. However, if a vice president takes over for a president with less than two years of his term remaining, that vice president is allowed to run for two more terms, for a total maximum of 10 years serving as president. This has never happened in U.S. history.

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