Is There a Grace Period With U.S. Passports?

If you’re planning on taking an important trip abroad for business or pleasure, one of the most important things to tackle BEFORE you head to the airport has to do with your United States passport. This hugely important document both allows you to enter foreign countries and serves as proof of identity during your trip. As a rule, all U.S. passports must be renewed every ten years to stay valid.

Is There a Grace Period With U.S. Passports?

Regarding U.S. passports, there is no “grace period” in the sense that you will have the ability to travel if your current passport is even one day beyond the expiration date. Not only do no countries accept expired passports, but some countries will even deny entry to any person with a passport that expires within the next six months.

If you’re wondering when your passport expires, you have only to look at the document itself. On the page where your picture is there are two dates – the one on the top is the date when your passport was originally issued and the one right below that is the exact date on which your passport expires. These dates are firm, so whether you’re a frequent traveler or only travel internationally occasionally, you would do well to not forget them under any circumstances.

There is, however, a bit of a grace period with regards to HOW your passport can be renewed. So long as your original passport has not been expired for more than five years since the date it was issued, you will be able to submit your application via the United States Postal Service. Note that your original passport must also be undamaged, you need to have been at least 16 at the time the passport was issued and the document must have been originally issued in your current name.

Rush Passport Services

If you do have an important trip coming up and find that your passport is expired, don’t worry – options are still available to you when it comes to renewal. You can also go through a rush passport service in your area, who will collect all relevant documents and fees and submit them to a passport processing agency on your behalf. As opposed to waiting the six to eight weeks (or longer) to have your passport renewal application processed under normal circumstances, an expedited passport services can have your brand new passport in your hands in as little as 24 to 48 hours. These times will vary depending on the specific area of the country in which you live.