How Long is a US Passport Valid?
A normal adult passport is valid for 10 years from the date of issue.
Generally US passports validity can not be extended and must be
renewed (replaced) upon expiration except by US Embassies in emergency
situations. In some cases, applicants may receive reduced validly
passports as a result of a history of loosing passports.
Children's passports (less the 16 years old) are valid for five
years, except for infants who often receive passports valid for
one or two years.
What is the 6 Month Validly Rule?
As a rule of thumb, US passports must be valid for a minimum of
six months past the date of entry into a foreign country. This rule
exists to protect the traveler should they encounter medical, legal
or other issues resulting in an unforeseen extended stay in the
Some countries are more relaxed on this regulation. Most countries
in Western Europe indicate three months of validity are required
and countries such as China routinely allow people to enter with
one month of validly remaining. But any of these counties can and
do enforce a six month policy at the discretion of the immigration
Can I Use an Expired Passport?
No. An expired passport is not valid for travel into a foreign country.
What is an "Electronic Passport"
and how can I tell if I have one?
The U.S. Electronic Passport (e-passport) is the same as a regular
passport with the addition of a small contact less integrated circuit
(computer chip) embedded in the back cover. The chip securely stores
the same data visually displayed on the photo page of the passport,
and additionally includes a digital photograph. The inclusion of
the digital photograph enables biometric comparison, through the
use of facial recognition technology, at international borders.
The U.S. e-passport also has a new look, incorporating additional
anti-fraud and security features.
Since August 2007, the U.S. has been issuing only e-passports.
Passports without chips will still be valid for the full extent
of their validity period.
Can I Have Two Passports?
Persons making frequent international trips sometimes need a second
passport. The most common reason a second passport is required is
that travelers must submit their passport to an embassy to secure
a visa for travel to that country, however the person using his/her
passport to travel to another country while the visa application
is being processed. In such circumstances, the passport agency will
issue a duplicate or second limited validity passport for a period
of time - usually two years.
What Do I Do If I Lost My Passport?
If you are unable to locate your passport it is recommended that
you file a report with your local police and submit a government
form (DS-64) to the US State Department to invalidate that passport.
You may apply for a new passport (you can not renew a passport you
do not have in your possession) and submit the DS-64 form with your
application for a new passport.
For detailed instructions visit: Replacing
lost or stolen passports.
Who Signs a Child's Passport?
If the child is under 16 a parent must sign the passport. In the
space provided for the signature, the mother or father must print
the child's name and then sign their own name with their signature
and in parenthesis by the parent's signature, write the word (mother)