Did you know that many countries around the world will require your U.S. passport to be valid for 6 months after your date of return?

Others require your passport to be valid for 3 months after your date of return.

According to an article in USA Today:

Some countries, however, refuse to allow entry to anyone holding passport that expires in less than three or six months. Very often, the traveler will not get that far, since airlines and cruise ships routinely deny boarding to any travelers without the correct documents — including those whose passports expire too soon. Customs officials tend to be strict about these requirements — a passport with five months and three weeks of validity would be turned away.

The 6 month rule is pretty common in Asia and Central American countries, but not all of them.  Canada and Mexico have them on the books but may not necessarily enforce it strictly.  In Europe, many of the countries follow the Schengen Agreement (requiring 3 months of validity after the date of return) but some don’t.  The United Kingdom is one of those that doesn’t require a minimum amount of validity left on your passport.


We just had a group heading to Mexico to the Riviera Maya and one of the guests’ passports expired 1 day less than 6 months from his date of return.  Since w can never guarantee that the Customs Agent or TSA Agent might not turn him away, we suggested that he renew his passport now.

What is our best advice?

Take a look at your passport and check the expiration date.  If you are going to be traveling and you see that your passport will not have 6 months of validity left on it (from the date of your return), just renew it.  My Vacation Lady never wants our clients to be denied boarding because their passport isn’t valid for the right amount of time after they return home.

So when the U.S. says the passport book is valid for 10 years (for adults), they really mean 9 1/2 years.

For more information about passport renewal and other useful travel information, Click HERE


Our daughter and son in law were headed to the Riviera Maya last month for their anniversary.  Our son in law sent in his passport for renewal in April figuring that he had more than enough time to receive it before their vacation.  It came 9 weeks after due to some issue with the picture.  Just another reason to renew your passport before it expires.