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Should I renew my son's passport?

by Kathy
(Egin, Il. 60120)

Question: Three years ago I got passports for myself, my then 13 yr old son and my 17 yr old daughter for vacation that summer. My daughter's and my passport said they were good for 10 years and my son's only for 5 years.

My 2 questions are: first, why was his only good for 5 years? And second, my ex-husband is taking them both to Canada this summer. At that time they will both have had b-days and will be 17 and 21.

My ex thinks (someone told him) that even though my son's passport says it's good for another couple of years, he needs to have it renewed because since we first got it he's now over 16 years old. Is this true?? Wouldn't they just have put down the date that he turned 16 last year as the expiration date then?

I would greatly appreciate your help with this.

Answer: Passports issued to minors age 15 or younger are valid for 5 years while those issued to U.S. citizens age 16 and older are valid for 10 years.

Your son's passport is valid until the date of expiration independent of how old he is. If your son's passport is valid for another 2 years, he does not need to renew it in order to travel to Canada this summer.

Comments for Should I renew my son's passport?

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renewal passport by mail
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is 11-years-old. Can I renew his passport by mail?

Answer: Passports issued to minors age 15 or younger cannot be renewed by mail. Your son must apply in person with both parents at an application acceptance facility. For more information, click here.

by: Anonymous

Question: My passport was issued when I was 13 and expired May 22, 2014. Now, I am 18.5 years old. Do I need renew one or used the expired one.

Answer: Expired passports cannot be used for travel. To get a new passport, submit form DS-11 and all required supporting documents at an application acceptance facility. Click the link below for more information.

How to Apply for a New Passport

Renewing passport for 18 yo
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello,

My son was issued a passport when he was 13 yo and it's up for renewal. He is now 18 yo. Can he renew online or do we need to go to the passport agency in person (with both parents) to renew his passport?

Answer: Your son needs to apply in person at an application acceptance facility. He does not need to be accompanied by parents.

He can select either routine processing in 4-6 weeks or expedited service in 2-3 weeks. For faster service, he should schedule an appointment at an regional passport agency.

Thank-you :)
by: Anon

This really helped out alot!! I'm in the same situation and I kept hearing that I would have to renew it since I am eighteen, and my passport was issued 4 years back when I was 15 (2 months before my 16th birthday). We are going traveling for three weeks and my passport is still valid for another 4 months, but I just couldn't be sure. Thank-you so much, Kathy for asking this question and William for the information!!


While your passport is valid up until the date of expiration, you still may need to renew it before you travel. This depends on the foreign entry requirements for the country or countries you plan to visit. Some countries require at least six months of validity in your passport before you will be allowed to enter. Be sure to verify these requirements.

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