I have posted something similar to this a while ago. Recently some people we know were not allowed to leave on a trip to Europe due to their passport expiration dates. This is a good reminder for all travelers.


First, know when your passport expires. Many countries require the expiration date to be more than six months from that date. Don’t cut it too close. If you’re traveling in the next year, take out your passport and check the expiration date. Is it coming up? Now would be a good time to apply for a new one.

Some airlines will notify you of an upcoming expiration date. But, it is not their responsibility to do so.

Next, the State Department tells us you are responsible for looking like your passport photo. Have you added or removed facial tattoos or birthmarks? Have you lost a significant amount weight, especially in your facial area?

If so, you may need a new photo, even if your passport doesn’t expire for several years.

Speaking of photos, here are some rules that may be new since the last time you had yours taken.

Remove your glasses.

Make sure the background is the correct color.

Don’t smile too much. Yet, look natural…if you can. I was told not to smile at all and my photo looks like I belong in the post office for most wanted!

Next, pay the correct fee if submitting for a renewal by mail. No sense getting the renewal rejected.

Make sure you take or send any supporting documents with you if you are applying for a new one in person.

Last, check with the State Department for more rules and clarifications. https://www.state.gov/

Don’t get caught unable to travel. It is your responsibility to know about your passport.