How Long Is A Passport Valid?


Many things come with an expiration date, and a passport is one of them. How long is a passport valid for will depend on who is the bearer and the type of passport issued by the State Department. We are very familiar with passports issued to minors and adults, but there are also passports that are obtained during some exceptional circumstances. These documents, when given under those conditions, have less validity than the ones provided when applied for under no duress.

Adult Passport

An adult passport is issued to anyone 16 years or older. If you are an adult with a passport, when you look at the inside from cover you will see two dates. The first is the issued date. The issued date is the date your passport becomes valid. The next time is the expiration date. It is the date your passport will expire. For adults, the expiration date is ten years after the issued time. Once the passport expires, you can reapply for another, and the new one will be valid for another ten years.

Minor Passport

A minor is a child 15 years old or younger. Similar to an adult passport, a minor’s passport has the issued and expiration date on the same page. However, a minor’s passport is only valid for five years. When a minor passport expires, the passport cannot be renewed. If the child is still a minor, then the parents or guardians must reapply for a new passport that will have five years validity. Only if the child completes his or her 16th birthday, will the parents apply for an adult passport instead of a minor’s passport for the individual.

Special Passport

There are exceptional circumstances when an applicant may need a passport. The first is when a second passport is applied for. A second passport is only valid for two years and not ten. Most frequent travelers apply for a second passport due to restrictions enforce by other countries that their passport will not meet. The other is when an emergency passport is requested abroad if a passport was lost or stolen. In cases like that, the State Department will issue a passport valid for 1 or 2 years. Under any of these particular circumstances, you will get a passport but must replace it at expiration time.

So, under normal circumstances when applying for a passport, the validity time will be standard. A minor’s passport will have five years validity, and an adult has ten years. Special passports can vary from 1 year to 2 years. If you got a special passport, verify its validity before your next trip abroad.

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