Should I Wait Until My Passport Expires to Renew It?

Passport Frequently Asked Questions and AnswersQuestion:  There are four months left for my passport expiration. I need advice on whether I should wait until my passport expires to renew it, or renew it now. I do not want to lose out on the 4 months if I renew it now. Also, if I renew it now, will I then have two passports since my first one did not expire yet? Please help.What are the requirements governing passport expiration time frame?

Answer:  One recommendation is that you renew your passport nine months before its expiration date to be on the safe side. When you renew your passport, you must submit your previous passport in the process. So, you will not have two passports if you renew your passport early. However, you will get the previous passport book back, but it will be invalid for travel.

Many countries require your passport to have at least 3 to 6 months validity. The validity remaining is considered before they will allow you to enter or issue a travel visa. The Department of State’s recommendation of renewal is 9 months prior to a passport expiration. Being that some countries require a validation period of up to 6 months after you visit their country, this 9 months recommendation will assure you can enter a foreign country without denial. Also, if you come across any issues during your passport renewal, you will have enough time to deal with these issues.

You should renew your passport as soon as possible to be on the safe side. You will be able to renew your passport by mail as an adult if you had your passport when you were at least 16 years old, if it is not considerably damage  ,and if you had it within the last 15 years. If you do not meet these criteria, you have to renew your passport in person. Regular passport processing usually takes about 4-6 weeks to obtain a passport. You can use an expedited passport agency which will process your passport within 2-3 weeks.