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Renewal question for passport that expires soon

by Erica
(Benzonia, MI, USA)

Question: My passport expires at the end of this month - if I don't get it to you in time can it still be "renewed" or do I have to go through a different process? I have no plans of travel - I just want to renew it in case.

We live in Michigan and I understand you have to obtain a passport to travel to Canada so I'd rather be safe. Also on the form there is a question about plans of travel so do I just leave that blank?

Answer: You can renew a passport by mail up to 15 years after its date of issuance as long as you were not a minor when it was issued and it is not damaged.

You are correct in the fact that a valid passport is now required for United States citizens to travel to Canada. However, you can use a passport card instead of a passport book if you plan to travel by land. A passport book is only required if you travel by air. The fee for the card is much less.

Concerning the question about travel plans, you can either leave it blank or write NA or none in the spaces.

The only problem in waiting to renew your passport, is that you will be unable to travel abroad with an expired passport if the need arises. In fact, the State Department encourages passport holders to initiate the renewal process approximately nine months prior to the expiration date.

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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.

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