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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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Can he renew passport or have to get new one
by: Anonymous

Question: My son is now age 24. He had a passport when he was 11 which was issued January 27, 2007. It expired January 6, 2012. What does he have to do. Start over or what?

Answer: Your son needs to apply in person for his first adult U.S passport. Please have him prepare the following requirements:

1. Form DS-11 (must be signed in front of a passport agent)
2. Evidence of U.S. citizenship plus photocopy
3. Proof of identity plus photocopy
4. One passport photo
5. Payment for fees

The application can be submitted at an acceptance facility. Appointments can be made here: http://usps.com/scheduler

New passport
by: Anonymous

Question: My son has a passport that will not expire until 2022 but he has turned 17 and will be going to Ireland in May. Does he need a new passport before he goes?

Answer: Your son may continue to use his passport until it expires.

by: Anonymous

Question: I was 16 when I got my first passport. Can I renew or do I need to apply for a new one?

Answer: If your passport was issued with full 10 years validity and you can submit it, you may apply for a renewal by mail.

Passport renewal for my child
by: Beatrice

Question: Hi. I'd highly appreciate it if you answer my question. I have a 4.5-year-old daughter. I gave birth to her in Canada. She got her passport in 2015 and expires on 2020. I am now here in the Philippines with my child for good. Do I need to renew her passport even if we are not traveling? Thank you and God bless.

Answer: Hello, Beatrice. It is not necessary but ideal to always have a valid passport for your child. However, we are not familiar with rules governing Canadian passports. Please contact the Canadian embassy in the Philippines for further assistance.

Passport valid?
by: Anonymous

Question: I received a passport in 2010 at the age of 14. I am now 23. The expiration date on my passport is 2020. From what I have read it should have expired after 5 years. I am traveling to Mexico and am worried I will have issues because of this. Will my passport be valid despite being issued a minor passport over 5 years ago?

Answer: You're right. Passports issued to minors are valid for only 5 years. The expiration date on your passport must be an error.

You MAY encounter issues because of this issue when you travel. The safest way to avoid such issues is to apply for a new passport.

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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More Passport & Travel Information

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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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