Important Due to Covid-19, processing times for passports are taking longer than normal for both standard and expedited services.

Does he need a complete new passport?

by Leslie
(Jacksonville, FL. USA)

Question: My son was 12 when he got his passport. It will expire in May next year. He is now 17; does he need to apply for a completely new one?


Answer: Passports issued to minors cannot be renewed. Your son must apply for a new passport using application form DS-11.

He should complete the form but wait to sign it in when requested to do so by an agent at a passport application acceptance facility.

He also needs to present proof of citizenship, proof of identity, a copy of his identity and one current passport photo. He may also be asked to provide written parental consent using form DS-3053. Finally, he should make payment for fees.

The State Department encourages passport holders to submit the application for a new passport approximately nine months before the expiration date. Regular processing takes 4-5 weeks but it can take longer. Expedited services take 2-3 weeks.

Also, many countries require at least six months validity in a passport before they will issue a visa.

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Travel under 18
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is 17 years old. He goes to college in the U.S. and he has his own U.S. passport. We live abroad. Does he need any parents consent form to travel outside the U.S?

Answer: The travel consent is a recommendation but the necessity depends on the minor's destination country.

Validity of passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My 16-year-old just received her passport. It's only valid for 5 years. Why not 10?

Answer: Passports issued to citizens age 16 or older should be valid for 10 years. Please submit the passport for a correction. Please call customer service at 1-877-487-2778 for more information.

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COVID-19 UPDATE: Mailing delays are impacting passport processing. The Department of State's processing times begin when applications are received at a passport agency or center and not when you mail them or apply at a local acceptance facility. Standard service may take between 7 and 10 weeks. This timeframe does not include delivery time. Mailing times vary across the country.

Expedited service takes from 4 to 6 weeks exluding mailing times on the front and back end. Mailing delays may be significant so requesting 1-2-day mailing may greatly help.

Regional passport agencies are offering two types of appointments: Life-of-Death Emergency Service and Urgent Travel Service.

Life-or-death emergencies are serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (parent, legal guardian, child, spouse, sibling, and grandparent) that require you to travel outside the United States within 3 business days.

If you need to travel due to a qualified life-or-death emergency, please call the National Passport Information Center for an appointment:

Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. ET, call 1-877-487-2778 (TDD/TTY:1-888-874-7793) Outside of these hours, call 202-647-4000.

For Urgent Travel Service, you need to call 14 days before your scheduled international travel or 28 days if you also need to secure a foreign visa.

If you need to travel urgently for reasons other than a life-or-death emergency, please call the NPIC at 1-877-487-2778 Mondays through Fridays 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. ET.

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