Recently, I received a panicked phone call from a dear friend who was only two days away from departing for vacation. The family of five had spent a year dreaming, planning, and paying for a 7-day trip to the Bahamas. They were so proud that they had planned everything themselves, but they missed one small detail.
With only 48 hours to go, they finally looked at the passports and realized the oldest daughter’s passport had expired. I felt sick to my stomach because I had to tell her that there was nothing she could do. Their oldest child would not be able to travel with the family.
Doesn’t this make you feel sick also? To keep from experiencing this in your own life, keep reading to learn valuable information about passports and their renewal.
Passports are one of the most powerful forms of identification you can possess. Issued by the United States government, it is almost impossible to forge. A passport will irrefutably prove both your identity and citizenship. They are required to re-enter the United States.
For most adults, a passport is valid for ten years. They are valid for five years if issued before age 16.
Renewing a passport is much easier than applying for it the first time. Many adults with 10-year passports can renew them by mail instead of appearing in person.
When timing your passport renewal, keep in mind your expiration date as well as where you will be traveling. You should renew it at least six months before it expires. Don’t forget that many international destinations require that your passport is valid for six months from your planned return date to the United States.
Regardless of entry requirements, it’s always best to renew ahead of time to avoid backlogs during busy travel periods and possible delays like those we’ve experienced during the pandemic.
Your passport number will change when you renew it. That means if you’re part of a trusted travel program, you’ll need to update your passport information. In most cases, you can do this online.
Take a few minutes to check your passport expiration date and set a reminder on your calendar to help you remember to renew. You’ll be glad you did! For more information, visit the US Passport website.
I wish you well. I wish you safe and happy travels. And I can’t wait to see you under a Canopy of Stars.