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The U.S. No Longer Honors Expired Passports, As Of July 1st
As of July 1st, the State Department is no longer honoring expired U.S. passports. Previously, expired U.S. passports were accepted as a result of delays in processing due to the pandemic.
According to the State Department’s website, travelers will not “be permitted to use your expired U.S. passport to return to the United States.” This affects U.S. citizens who are expats or abroad wanting to reenter the country with an expired passport on or after January 1st, 2020.
“If your passport has expired, please contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a U.S. passport, says the State Department.
Why were expired passports accepted in the first place?
Expired passports were accepted to ease the stress of travelers dealing with delays in passport processing. At the beginning of 2020, embassies were cutting back on staff which led to a backlog of passport service appointments.
The U.S. had processing times of up to 18 weeks and the option to book last-minute appointments was taken offline for a while.
What about now?
It currently takes between eight to 11 weeks of processing. Travelers can pay an expedited fee for a processing period of five to seven weeks.
The cost of passport renewals has gone up by $20 in the past year. It currently costs $130 to renew adult passports and an extra $60 for expedited renewal service. There is an extra $18.32 cost for two-day delivery.
Passports generally expire in 10 years. Most countries require travelers to have at least six months of validity on their passports before entering their country.
Travelers now have the option of selecting “X” as a gender option on passport applications.