Having a valid passport is an essential part of international travel. Your passport has to be valid in order to be able to make your trip. In some cases, your passport has to be valid for a certain period of time. Unfortunately, those who have a passport will eventually come upon a time when that passport must be renewed. After all, a passport is only valid for a certain amount of time. For adults, in most cases, it is valid for 10 years while for children it is valid for 5 years.
While renewing a passport is not as complex as obtaining a brand new passport, there are some criteria involved that will determine whether you can apply for a passport renewal or have to start all over again. Some of these steps can be determined simply by looking at the passport. Others are more complex. The following criteria can help to determine which route you would have to take:
- A children’s passport cannot be renewed through the renewal process. The reason for this is because a children’s passport was only valid for 5 years. A children’s passport requires parental consent and because they are minor’s will only be valid for 5 years. The renewal process only applies if your passport was valid for 10 years and was not expired for more than 5 years.
- If your passport was valid for 10 years it can be renewed as long as it has not been expired for more than 5 years. For example, let’s say your passport was valid from 2002 to 2012. This passport cannot be renewed in 2018 because the passport has been expired for more than 5 years.
- Your passport must be in good to great condition. If your passport has been damaged in any way, has pages cut off, is falling apart, has been mistreated or has been accidently left in the washing machine then chances are the passport is not renewable. Any passport that has been damaged is considered just that…a damaged passport and you must now follow the damaged passport process.
- If there are any changes to your name or if the passport was accidentally misspelled or has inaccurate information, a birth certificate or other certified documentation would be needed in order to correct it. In some cases, the State Department may determine that the change requires you to apply as a new passport instead of a renewal.
- You can renew your passport before it expires. There are some countries that require a passport to be valid for more than 6 months in order for them to allow you to enter their country. The State Department does allow you to renew your passport before it expires.
- Remain eligible to obtain a passport. There are certain citizens who are not able to obtain a passport or even renew a passport. Those who are ineligible to receive a passport are those who are wanted by the government, owe the government money or are in arrears of child support.
If your passport adheres to the criteria listed, you should be able to do a passport renewal and receive a new passport. Renewals can be sent through the mail for regular process or if you are in a rush go in person or through a service like ours. We have offices in Downtown Orlando and in Coral Gables, FL. Visit our site for more infomration at http://www.passportsvisasandmore.com.