Guest Post By Carla Mazzone, Senior Travel Planner
I have a world map right above my desk where I mark everywhere I have traveled. I look at it every day and I am dying to get more marks on it- maybe Tanzania or Germany or Brazil next? It inspired me to pulled out my passport, which has been collecting dust for the last year, just to look at the stamps of the amazing places I have been (do this at your own risk- it made me feel both nostalgic and melancholy). When I reached the page with my picture and realized it would be expiring soon, a mild wave of panic hit me. I had to renew this ASAP, just in case!
For travel in most European countries, the passport must be valid at least 6 months from the return date of the trip. For example, if my trip ends on October 2, 2021, the passport must be valid through April 2, 2022. If your passport expires anytime during 2021, it is probably a good idea to renew now. If your passport pages are full but it doesn’t expire for a year or more, it is probably a good idea to renew now too. Also congrats on being a worldwide traveler – a full passport is impressive!
I thankfully met the criteria for renewal by mail:
-I have the most recent passport in my possession (which is mailed in with your forms, photo and check).
-It is undamaged, besides normal wear and tear.
-The passport was issued when I was over 16 years of age. (Fun fact: I was 18 but I look about 13 in the horrendous picture!)
-The passport was issued within the last 15 years.
-It has my current name (though if it didn’t, I would need to provide documentation for my name change).