You already know that it’s a bad idea to wait until the last minute to renew your passport. But how early is too early to renew your passport? Can you renew a passport anytime? Find out when to renew a passport and if you qualify for a passport renewal.
When to Renew a Passport
As long as you’re over the age of 16, your passport is good for 10 years after it’s issued. There’s not really a limit on how early you can renew it, but the expense involved means that you won’t want to renew until close to the expiration date. You also cannot renew a minor (child) passport. A minor passport is issued to applicants 15 and younger and has a 5 year validity. Each time it is considered a new passport. But the adult passport can be renewed whenever you’d like, as long as it’s not damaged and it is less than 5 years expired. There are, however, two situations in which you’ll certainly need to renew early.
Update Passport Name Changes
If you get married, divorced or otherwise change your name within the first year after you get your passport, you don’t need to renew. Instead, you can use Form DS-5504 to get your name changed free of charge. Just fill out the form, send it in along with one new passport photo (if it’s been more than 90 days since your passport was issued).
However, if you need a name change and it’s been more than one year since you received your passport, you have no choice but to renew. Follow the directions in Passport Renewal: Cutting Through the Red Tape, and you’ll get a new passport good for another 10 years. The fee to renew your passport is currently $110.
Need Additional Passport Pages?
There used to be an option to get additional passport pages added to your passport for $82. However, adding passport pages has been discontinued. If you run out of passport (visa) pages, you will need to apply for a passport renewal. Visa pages are required for entry and exit visa stamps and visa validation stickers. You should always have a few blank pages for any international trip. If you are running low, then apply for a passport renewal. Your old passport will be returned along with your new passport so you can keep it as a souvenir of all your previous travels. Also, remember your passport number will change.
Six Month Validity Rule
The six month validity rule basically states that you should have at least six months of validity until your passport expires. So for all international trips, your date of returning home should be at least six months before your passport expires. Many countries won’t let you in if your passport expires in 6 months or less, so renewing 9 months in advance ensures that your travel plans don’t get derailed.
Renewing your passport normally takes about 6 weeks for normal service and 3 weeks for expedited service. If you need it processed more quickly, an expediting company like RushMyPassport can have it done in as little as 24 hours, with no need to take time out of your day visiting a passport office.
Renew your passport with us today!