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?

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. There are, however, two situations in which you’ll need to renew early.

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 2 new passport photos (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. Note, however, that the fee to renew your passport has gone up to $110.

Additional Pages

You won’t need to worry about renewing your passport to get additional pages unless you travel a LOT. You can simply have pages added to your passport for a fee of $82. However, once you fill up 100 pages, you have to renew your passport if you want to continue to travel.

Otherwise, the earliest you’d want to renew your passport is about 9 months before it expires. Why so early? 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!