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Should I renew a child's passport before it expires?

by Debbie
(Long Island, NY)

Question: Is a 15-year-old child's passport valid in February in Mexico if the expiration date is June of the same year? I have heard mixed answers to this question. Please advise.

Answer: A passport is valid until the date of expiration. Traveling abroad with a passport that is near the expiration date is only a problem if you plan to enter a country that requires a specific number of month's validity in your passport in order to enter. For example, Brazil requires tourist to have at least six month's validity in their passports before a visa will be issued.

Because of this, the U.S. Department of State recommends that travelers apply for a new passport approximately nine months prior to the expiration date. Since your son will travel to Mexico in February, you may want to wait until he returns to submit the application.

According to the Embassy of Mexico website, there is no requirement concerning the amount of time remaining in your passport. In fact, a passport is not even required of U.S. citizens in order to enter Mexico. However, a passport or other WHTI-compliant document is necessary to re-enter the United States.

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