US Passport renewal beanplating
February 4, 2017 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm a US expat whose passport will be expiring at the end of the year. What with all the upheaval and obvious disorganization being dished out by the current administration, I'm considering renewing earlier as a safeguard against the catastrophic.

I don't know how chaotic things are at the passport center right now. My kids US passports are still good for another couple of years but I am also considering applying for citizenship in my adopted country because I'd like for our entire family to have at least one unified set of passports and as things stand that won't be happening for my Husband. So I'm feeling like it'd be better to get the US renewal out of the way.

What say ye, MeFites? Am I catastrophically beanplating things here? Or should I renew early/ wait for things to hopefully settle down?

(Anon because I don't want this connected to my username.)
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't see a downside to renewing your passport a few months early. If your kids' passports are good for another couple of years, you can probably wait on them.

Does citizenship in your country of residence require giving up your US citizenship?
posted by basalganglia at 4:47 AM on February 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

The State Department recommends that you renew your passport nine months before its expiration date. If your passport is expiring in 2017, then you're only renewing, at most, two months early.
posted by ddbeck at 4:48 AM on February 4, 2017 [8 favorites]

Yes, do it early. Better to have an up-to-date passport than not. And as mentioned above, the State Department recommends early renewal, and some countries will not allow travel on a close to expiration passport.
posted by stillmoving at 5:01 AM on February 4, 2017

Just sent mine in this week for a June expiry. Wouldn't have typically waited this long except we travelled abroad a couple weeks ago. Peace of mind is worth the $110.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 5:27 AM on February 4, 2017

Go ahead and renew it now.

You can't travel on a passport that expires in 6 months or less in most places anyway, and it takes 6-8 weeks to get a new passport processed. So my guess is that nobody would even blink if you went in on Monday and started the renewal process.
posted by colfax at 5:28 AM on February 4, 2017

I have a friend who works at the state department and she said processing time is still running at normal rates (4-6 weeks) for now. Mine expires in July and I am sending it this week.
posted by something something at 5:29 AM on February 4, 2017

Not beanplating at all. Go ahead and do it now.
posted by Gotanda at 6:38 AM on February 4, 2017

I'm an expat in Denmark. I'm doing my renewal for extra pages, not expiry, but I am starting asap.

For what it's worth, here they are letting me submit the application in person and therefore keep my current passport; they'll invalidate my current one when I return to pick up the new one. Additionally, I had to make an appointment for renewal-- the earliest available date was mid March, and I made the appointment a few days ago.

Depending on your country it might be possible to mail to your embassy for renewal (you can't mail it to the US as an expat). But if you're close to your embassy, I'd suggest getting it done in person- it's supposedly only a 3week wait, but this way I never have to be separated from a valid passport.
posted by nat at 8:49 AM on February 4, 2017

Note the wait period is different for expats, because you must submit to your embassy and they do some of the work; things are still sent to the US for printing. So answers above not taking your expat status into account may have some details wrong.

Here is the relevant page:
posted by nat at 8:51 AM on February 4, 2017

Oh, also, note that your embassy or consulate may have slightly different procedures! Here in DK you currently can't mail in at all, because they don't do checks here. So really go find the procedure for your place of residence, it should be on the consular website for your country.
posted by nat at 8:54 AM on February 4, 2017

I'm a US expat as well, and I'm renewing my passport pretty much ASAP (It doesn't expire for another year and a half, but I don't want to worry about anything weird happening down the line.) I'm doing my visa renewal for my adopted home right now, but as soon as that's done I'm starting the passport renewal process next.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 1:08 AM on February 6, 2017

There is literally no reason not to do this.
posted by spindrifter at 9:33 AM on February 7, 2017

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