You Can No Longer Travel With an Expired US Passport

The pandemic-era policy has come to an end

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Close up of woman's hand holding open passport
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As of July 1, 2022, the State Department has overturned a pandemic-era rule that temporarily allowed U.S. travelers to return home from overseas with an expired passport.

"If your passport has expired, please contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a U.S. passport," the State Department wrote on its website.

The policy, which applied to passports that expired on or after Jan. 1, 2020, was initially implemented due to "unprecedented [passport] appointment backlogs" and subsequent processing delays. (In July 2021, expecting travelers could wait as long as 18 weeks to get their passports.)

While 18-week-long processing times are fortunately a thing of the past, it's best to fill out your renewal application ASAP if your passport is expired—or if the country you're visiting requires your passport to be at least six months valid after entry or departure. The State Department currently estimates that it can take eight to 11 weeks to process a passport application. However, if your trip is fast approaching, you can pay $60 to get your passport expedited in five to seven weeks.

If you're renewing your passport, you can expect your new travel document to look slightly different than what you're used to. Called the "Next Generation Passport" (NGP), the latest iteration of the U.S. passport will feature improved security features, including "a polycarbonate data page, laser-engraved personalization, and updated artwork."

Application fees for new and renewed passports also cost $20 more than pre-pandemic. As of Dec. 27, 2021, U.S. travelers 16 and up must pay $165 for a new passport (up from $145) and $130 for a renewal (up from $110).

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica. "U.S. Citizens May Return to the United States on Recently Expired Passports." Accessed July 5, 2022.

  2. U.S. Department of State. "Return Travel on Recently Expired U.S. Passports." May 24, 2021.

  3. U.S. Department of State. "U.S. Passports." Accessed July 5, 2022.

  4. U.S. Department of State. "Next Generation Passport." Accessed July 5, 2022.

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