Disclaimer: This site may earn affiliate commissions from your purchases through our links, at no extra cost. Learn more.

Comments for Can a child return to the United States with an expired passport?

Click here to add your own comments

passport renewal delayed
by: Anonymous

Question: Hello, my younger son, 5 years old, was born in the United States. We applied to renew his passport in March and still don't have any news. We need to travel to Spain in less than two weeks, by the end of June. We've been contacting the US passport service phone number but they are always busy. We also applied for the expedited service to make it faster but still no news. He also has a Spanish passport though. Is there anything we can do for him to re-enter the country without problems or delays? Would it be enough just to show his birth certificate? Thanks!

Answer: Unfortunately, your son will need a valid U.S. passport to re-enter the United States. In fact, as a U.S. citizen, he is required to depart and re-enter the country with a valid U.S. passport book.

You need to keep calling the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 to possibly get the passport in time for your trip.

Child passport renewal
by: Anonymous

Question: Hi, my daughter is 11 and she's been in India since 2014 but her passport expired on April 1, 2022. She's a US citizen, currently, we don't have any plans to travel. Do I need to get the passport renewed?

Answer: While not required, it is recommended that U.S. citizens have a valid U.S. passport at all times. As a citizen of the United States, your child is required to present a valid U.S. passport when you/she decides to travel back to the U.S.

Dual Citizen teen returning to USA with Italian Passport
by: Susan R.

Question: My 16-year-old USA-born and raised daughter just left yesterday for Costa Rica on a month-long Teen Tour using her Italian Passport which expires two weeks after her return flight. Her US passport is currently being processed (expedited service) and we are not sure when we will receive it by mail. The airline assured us repeatedly that as long as the Italian passport is valid for one day past the returning flight date she would have no problem upon return. At the airport, the airline asked for her US residency card, which I learned the Italian Embassy issues Italian citizens living abroad. She never received one as this requirement was established after she was issued her Italian passport five years ago. I fear she will have problems returning to the USA. I do not have her most recently expired US passport as it accompanied the application for her adult passport which is currently being processed. I DO have her older passport which expired in 2016, proving her USA citizenship. I can overnight this passport and her original birth certificate to her program in Costa Rica. Will it suffice to show these documents, as well as her still valid Italian passport, at the Costa Rica airport as well as US immigration authorities upon re-entry in the USA? I am having trouble connecting with a live rep at the US Passport Service to speed up the processing of her current passport.

Answer: Hello, Susan. All U.S. citizens, regardless of age, are required to depart and re-enter the United States with a valid U.S. passport. It is against the law to leave the country on a foreign passport even if you have dual citizenship.

You may read more about the topic here: Dual Citizenship

She is asked to present a U.S. residency card because she left the country on a foreign passport. Sending her old passport and other documents will not help since these are not valid travel documents. Even if you send her the new passport to use for her return, she will still face issues since there is no exit record on that passport she is using for re-entry.

We recommend that you contact the CBP or the USCIS to find out what other measures you can take to facilitate your child's re-entry to the country.

Getting a 15 year old a passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I would like to get my 15 year old daughter a passport, for potential extended travel in the coming year. If she turns 16 while we are traveling, her passport will expire.

1. If she is 9 months from turning 16, can she apply for an adult passport now?
2. If the answer to that question is no, how would we manage an expired passport when abroad?

Answer: The passport will not expire when she turns 16. It will be valid for 5 years after the issue date. Once it expires, she can then apply for her first adult U.S. passport.

Expire Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: I have a friend that has 2 kids 18 & 16 years old. They are in Guadalupe. The dad is in Miami and the mother left the kids with a friend in Guadalupe and she left the Dominican Republic. The kids can't travel because their U.S. passports are expired and the nearest passport agency is in Curazao. The dad can't travel and the kids asked their dad for help because they want to come to Miami. Can you give me advice?

Answer: They need to seek assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. Since they are already 16 and 18, they can apply on their own as long as they have their own IDs.

Their father can issue a signed statement of awareness of the issuance for the 16-year-old. He can mail this statement with a photocopy of his ID. The statement must be submitted with the other requirements for the passport application.

The 18-year-old does not need the statement from the father.

Expired passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is 9. His U.S. passport expired 2013. Can he travel back from the Bahamas on his expired passport?

Answer: All U.S. citizens, regardless of age, need to present a valid U.S. passport in order to re-enter the United States after travel abroad. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Nassau for assistance.

Re-entering the USA with expired passport
by: JG

Question: My sister-in-law voluntarily left the USA about 5 years ago since she was an illegal alien. She gave a notarized document to her mother to bring her 3 U.S. citizen kids into Mexico by land. Stating it was only for vacation. Now the kids want to come and visit but their passports are expired. She has tried to renew their passports but they need the father's permission. The father was sent to jail and has not heard or seen him since she left the USA. What can she do?

Answer: All U.S. citizens traveling from Mexico must re-enter the United States with a valid passports.

The mother must find a way to contact the father to obtain the consent for passport issuance. The father must execute a signed and notarized statement of consent that the mother must present to the U.S. embassy or consulate when applying for her children's passports.

If contact cannot be established, the mother may submit Form DS-5525 Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for Issuance of a U.S. Passport to a Minor Under Age 16. She must explain (in as much detail as possible) that efforts she has made to contact the absent parent to obtain the consent. Applications submitted with Form DS-5525 are issued on a case by case basis.

Please have her contact the Mexican Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate for more information and assistance.

Child's Passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My son's U.S. passport has expired. His father has signed and notarized the necessary form for reapplication but is refusing to provide me with a copy of his driver's license to go with the form per directions on the form. What can I do? He has a valid passport for Australia so he can travel down there to see family but what about coming back?

Answer: A copy of the non-applying parent's ID is necessary to obtain a passport for your child. If you cannot secure this requirement, the notarized consent will not be accepted.

You may try submitting Form DS-5525 (Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for Issuance of a U.S. Passport to a Minor Under Age 16) with your application. However, understand that applications submitted under exigent family circumstances are processed on a case by case basis.

Need Help ASAP
by: Paola

Question: I went to Mexico (TJ) but I don't have a passport, or driver's licence, nor an Identification Card. I only brought my birth certificate and a previous school ID. I am 18 and I'm a U.S citizen. Can I travel back by land with just those two?

Answer: When returning from Mexico, U.S. citizens are required to present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document such as a passport book or passport card. You can go to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana and apply for an emergency passport. You do not need an appointment for this if you are leaving within the next 10 days.

Once you're back in the U.S., you can apply for a full-validity replacement passport. If you apply within a year of issuance, you will not be charged any additional fees.

My brother's passport expired
by: Yehya

Question: My brother's USA passport expired. He is overseas and the country he is in right now has no U.S. Embassy. Can he mail it to me and I renew it for him? He is over 18. Thank you.

Answer: Yes, you can do this as long as your brother was age 16 or older when he was issued the passport and the passport is not significantly damaged.

Your brother needs to send you his passport, a signed form DS-82 and a recent passport photo. You should mail these documents and payment for fees to the address on the application form.

The mailing address he enters on the application form must be a U.S. address.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Can a child return to the United States with an expired passport?.

Return to Passport Expiration FAQ.

Click for reliable expedited passport courier service.

More Passport & Travel Information

Getting a Passport Expedited at a Post Office
Requesting express service at post offices and other facilities that accept application forms from U.S. citizens.

Applying at a Regional Passport Agency
Where processing centers are located. How to schedule an appointment. What documents to take with you.

Using a Registered Courier Service
How to pick a legitimate courier service company to assist in getting your passport quickly.

Routine vs. Expedited Passport Service: How to Choose
Guide to help you decide if standard or fast track processing is the best option for your situation.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
2. What exactly does a passport expediter do?
3. Are passport expediting services legitimate?
4. How can I identify a reliable passport expeditor?
5. Is expedited passport service worth it?

Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

In a Hurry? Get Reliable Expedited Passport Courier Service:Expedite My U.S.Passport Now!
About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

Get the Latest Updates

Fill out the form, tick all boxes, click subscribe for updates on passports and travel news.