Editor’s Note: The U.S. Department of State has temporarily reduced its passport services because of public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Passports will be available only to customers with a qualified life-or-death emergency—such as serious illnesses, injuries or deaths among immediate family members—and who need a passport for international travel within 72 hours. While some locations are still accepting passport applications, applicants should expect significant delays and are encouraged to wait until normal operations resume. Passport applications submitted before March 20 are still being processed, but customers should expect delays.
You may think you have time to figure out the logistics of your upcoming travels, but if you’re planning to go out of the country, you may want to look at how much life is left in your passport sooner rather than later.
Even if the expiration date is after your trip, it may still be time to renew your passport. That’s because some countries require your passport to be valid for six months past the dates of your trip—and many airlines abide by this rule, too. Plus, starting early to renew your passport can help you avoid travel delays and additional fees. For example, expedited service for last-minute applications costs $60 in addition to the $110 renewal fee for a passport book, $30 for a passport card or $140 for a passport book and card. (However, please note you cannot use a passport card for international air travel.)
So, don’t let an out-of-date passport end your international trip before it even begins. Use this step-by-step guide to find out how to renew your passport now, so you can avoid unwanted stress later: