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How Long is a Passport Valid?

How long your passport will remain valid depends on what type of passport you’ve received.  Child passports issued to children ages 16 and under are only valid for 5 years after the date they were printed. Passports issued to adults and teens aged 16 and older are generally valid for 10 years.

However, in certain circumstances, such as an emergency trip or to replace a passport that was lost or stolen overseas, the Department of State will issue a limited passport. A limited passport is usually only valid for one year. However, once you are back in the United States, you do  have the option of converting it to a regular passport with the appropriate documents.

The new passport card is valid for the same length of time as regular passport-10 years for adults and teens aged 16 or older, and 5 years for kids aged 15 and under. However, remember that whether it’s expired or not, the passport card cannot be used for air travel. You need a passport book if you are flying to another country.

If the expiration date on your passport is approaching,  it’s a good idea to check the travel requirements of the country you are visiting before you leave. Even though a passport is still technically valid until the expiration date, many countries require that you have at least 6 months left or they won’t let you in.

The Department of State recommends renewing your passport at least 9 months before it expires. At the bare minimum, you should allow at least 2 months for your passport renewal to be processed with regular processing.

If you need your passport renewed in a hurry, your best bet is to use a private passport expediting company. A good expediting company will give you instructions on filling out the paperwork, so your application goes through the first time. They will also hand-deliver it to the US Passport Agency for you for super-fast processing, so your new passport can be on its way to you in as little as 24 hours.

Don’t wait until it’s too late…renew your passport today!

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