New Passport Expiration Date
Question: I have a current passport that is good until September. If I renew my passport in April, I will have two valid passports. Would it be wise to wait until September so that I don't lose 5 months on the new passport by renewing too early? The new passport will expire April 10 years after and if I wait, it will expire September of the same year.
When you apply for a passport renewal by mail, you are required to submit your previously-issued, undamaged passport. That passport will be invalidated and returned to you.
While you do lose validity by renewing early, the Department of State recommends that passport holders begin the renewal process approximately 9 months before the date of expiration.
The reason for this is that many countries require 3 to 6 months of validity in a passport before they will allow a person to enter. Also, the process usually takes up to 6 weeks for standard processing but can take longer.
In summary, renew now if you plan to travel to a country that requires 3 months or more of validity before your current passport expires. If not, begin the renewal process approximately 8 weeks before the expiration date.
Note, if you decide to wait and an emergency arises which requires you travel to a country that requires validity beyond what your passport has, you will have to expedite the passport application at a regional agency or through a registered expediting service
If you travel frequently and cannot be without a passport for 6 weeks while the application is being processed, you can request expedited service. You must submit evidence of international travel within 30 days in order to use this service. Expedited applications sent by mail are processed in 2 to 3 weeks.
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