Do you know when your passport expires? Most don’t. It’s just not one of those things we feel like needs to be top of mind and in most cases, it doesn’t Yet, there is nothing worse than deciding or having the opportunity to take a last-minute trip and finding that you don’t have 6 months of validity on your passport.
(Note: Many countries require 6 months of validity beyond your scheduled return and airlines can deny boarding for less than 6 months of validity on a passport.) Staying on top of your expiration lessens the frustration, anxiety, and cost of last-minute renewals (Wizard of Odysseys does this for you once an international trip is booked).
Recommended renewal is 9-12 months before international travel. There are several reasons in addition to the requirement for 6 months of validity for renewing at this point:
- The State Department generally estimates renewals can take 6-8 weeks for passports eligible to renew by mail. NOTE: During periods of heaving volumes, e..g. Jan-May each year, limited staffing, e.g. budget cuts or pandemic, or during any time when passport requirements or policies are changing, renewal times can take significantly longer. (Average processing times are noted on travel.state.gov). Keep in mind that this is for those that meet the following criteria:
- Your current passport is in your possession
- Your passport was issued within the past 15 years
- Your passport is in good physical condition with only normal wear and tear
- Your passport was issued when you were 16 years of age or older
- Your passport was issued in your current name or you can document any change in name
- For those not meeting the criteria above, renewals must be done in person. Should you need to apply in person, the average renewal time starts from the date of submission of your passport at the passport acceptance facility
- Some tour companies/travel advisors require information from a valid passport to complete a booking. Otherwise, you must sign a waiver of responsibility for any costs associated with differences between the passport used and your new passport. NOTE: Your picture will be different, the passport number will change with your new passport and there is no guarantee that the passport will come back with the same information. Errors do occur and changes in policies have resulted in changes in the past.
- Should a country you plan to visit require a visa, some countries require the passport have up to 6 months of validity at the time of the visa application. Applying early allows for sufficient time to obtain any necessary visas.
Obtaining a passport can be done in less time with expedited service or walk-in service for eligible reasons but at considerable time and/or expense.
Wizard of Odysseys monitors your passport expiration giving you one more level of assurance that you don’t need to spend unnecessary time or money. Isn’t that what a trusted advisor is supposed to do? I want you to have fun and relax thru the planning and during your trip. Give us a call about your next trip today, but first, please check your passport.
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