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Can I re-enter the US with an expired passport?

by DR Travel
(Miami, FL)

Question: I traveled outside the US and did not realize I had an expired passport. Will I be able to re-enter the US? What do I need to do?


Answer: According to the U.S. Department of State, all American citizens must possess a valid passport in order to exit and re-enter the United States.

Trying to return to the U.S. with an expired passport may result in being denied entrance. It is best to resolve this before your return trip.

You can apply for an emergency renewal at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general. Click the link below to access a list and find the one nearest you.

U.S. Embassy and Consulate List

Comments for Can I re-enter the US with an expired passport?

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US Passport Issues
by: Anonymous

Question: My U.S. passport is at the UK immigration office and will be expired before I return to the U.S. What do I do?

Answer: You may renew your passport through the U.S. Embassy in London or any of the U.S. Consulates in the United Kingdom once you get it back from UK immigration. You will then have a valid passport when you travel back to the U.S.

Verifying US Citizenship
by: Loren

Question: I'm confused by a recent answer you gave. You wrote:

All U.S. citizens are required to be in possession of a valid U.S. passport upon re-entry to the United States. While U.S. citizens will not be denied entry, there may be some delay at the airport while the border officials verify your U.S. citizenship.

So in other words, you *can* re-enter the US with an expired passport, you will not be denied entry, but they will have to verify your citizenship which can cause a delay.

wouldn't my expired passport be sufficient to verify my US citizenship? Even if it's expired, I wouldn't have one unless I was a citizen. So what does this mean?

Answer: Hi, Loren. A U.S. citizen cannot be denied entry although it is recommended that a valid passport be presented. The problem is that airlines will not allow a passenger to board without a valid passport. So a valid passport is still a requirement.

If you are traveling by land from Mexico or Canada, you will be allowed to enter although you may be delayed.

Dual citizen with soon to expire passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My daughter is a dual citizen (Czech Republic and U.S.). We are leaving the U.S. 12/17/17 and coming back 1/6/2018. Her U.S. passport will expire 1/27/18 (21 days after the return). Her Czech passport is valid for 4 more years. Do you think she might have a problems leaving U.S. or coming back? Thank you.

Answer: No she will not. As a U.S. citizen, she is required to depart the United States on her U.S. passport. She may then enter and leave the Czech Republic using her Czech passport. She will not have issues re-entering the United States using her valid U.S. passport.

We recommend contacting the airline you are flying to verify travel document requirements.

I'm flying back to the us with an expired passport
by: Anonymous

Question: How long will it take to validate my citizenship by the boarder officials?

Answer: There is no set time frame on how long the border officials will take to validate your U.S. citizenship. This is the reason why it is recommended that you re-enter the United States with a valid U.S. passport - to avoid delays and other issues.

Going back to the U.S.
by: Anonymous

Question: My questions is I'm in Mexico; can I go back to the U.S. by airplane with my passport expired?

Answer: All U.S. citizens are required to be in possession of a valid U.S. passport upon re-entry to the United States. While U.S. citizens will not be denied entry, there may be some delay at the airport while the border officials verify your U.S. citizenship.

Work-Related Purposes
by: Anonymous

Question: So my question is if I need my passport for my job to identify me and it's expired and I need it within 24 hours, is there anyway I would be able to renew it or go around that?

Answer: An expired passport is still considered valid form of identification.

What if in the case of war?
by: Anonymous

Question: What if war breaks out in the country, and the only passport we have to re-enter USA is expired? Will they send us back to the country of war?

Answer: The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be able to provide American citizens with emergency travel documents in cases of war or other situations that may endanger your life.

EU/US Dual Citizen
by: Anonymous

Question: I am flying into US on 10/24 which is also the date that my US passport expires. I am going back to the EU on 10/30. Can I travel with my EU passport and an ESTA since my US passport will no longer be valid when I depart?

Answer: By law, U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States using their U.S. passports. With your situation, you have two options:

1) You can renew your U.S. passport before your trip. Please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to your current location regarding renewals. Most embassies or consulates abroad process passport applications faster than agencies within the United States.


2) You may enter the U.S. up to the expiration date of your U.S. passport. Once you're in the country, you can apply for expedited renewal to get your passport in time for your trip back.

Traveling on emergency on a expired pasaport
by: Anonymous

Question: I need to travel for an emergency but my U.S. passport is expired. Can I renew in the country I am traveling to?

Answer: You need a valid U.S. passport to be allowed to depart the United States. You need to apply for expedited renewal at a regional passport agency.

Please bring the following when you apply:

1. Form DS-82
2. Your current passport (must be undamaged and issued in the last 15 years)
3. New passport photo
4. Payment for fees ($110 application fee + $60 expedite fee)
5. Proof of immediate international travel

Please call 1-877-487-2778 for an appointment. If no appointment is available, you may walk-in with your application at the closest regional agency. Please make sure you arrive before the agency opens to increase your chances of securing a slot. Applications submitted at regional agencies are processed in 1 to 8 business days.

Traveling back home
by: Anonymous

Question: I'm leaving for Mexico on 8/11/17 and coming back to the US on 8/19/17. But my passport expires on 8/19, would that be an issue?

Answer: As a U.S. citizen you may re-enter the United States up to the expiration date of your U.S. passport. You should be able to travel to Mexico and back home without issues.

Dual citizen
by: Anonymous

Question: I have dual citizenship from Mexico and the United States. I am in Mexico and have to get back into my homeland of USA this week. My American passport is expired but i recently renewed my Mexican passport. Will I be able to successfully get home?

Answer: All U.S. citizens are required to depart and re-enter the United States using their U.S. passports. You need to renew your U.S. passport before your return. You may do this at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City or any of the U.S. Consulates located all over Mexico.

My U.S. passport expires 20 days after getting out of the U.S.
by: Lina

Question: I have dual citizenship (American and Egyptian). I am living in Egypt. In 3 weeks I will travel to the US for 1 month stay then return to Egypt. My American passport expires 20 days after I return to Egypt. Will I face problems entering the U.S. or getting out of the U.S? My Egyptian passport is valid to 2021 so I will have no problems with Egyptian officers.

Answer: As a U.S. citizen, you may enter the United States up to the expiration date of your U.S. passports. Since you are also an Egyptian citizen, you should also not have issues entering Egypt even if exit the U.S. on your about to expire U.S. passport.

Having said that, we recommend that you renew your U.S. passport while you are in the United States. Routine service takes 6-8 weeks so you need to expedite the process. If you apply soon after you arrive, you will get your passport in 2-3 weeks.

Dual citizen traveling with expired US passport
by: Nora

Question: Hi,
My 5 year old is a dual citizen of the US and Egypt. We are traveling in a couple of days from Egypt to the US and discovered that her US passport has expired. Can she travel with her Egyptian passport as valid ID and show the expires US one as well at the airport to prove citizenship?

Answer: All U.S. citizens, regardless of age, need to depart and return to the United States using their U.S. passports. You need to apply for a new passport for your child before your trip. You may do so at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo or at the U.S. Consulate in Alexandria.

Embassy Might Be Closed
by: Anonymous

Question: What about if the US Embassy in the country you are in is currently closed due to war in the country? Would conditions such as this one be considered an exception?

Answer: Please inform us as to which country you are in so that we can better assist you.

Why deny entry to a US citizen
by: Loren

Question: When I left the US my passport was valid. It expired while I was abroad. But it still proves I'm a US citizen. Why would my own country deny me from coming home?

Answer: Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) states:

Citizens: Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport.

You can visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate general in order to apply for a passport renewal or, in the case of imminent travel, an emergency passport with limited validity.

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