The Daily Parker

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Hurry home, little blue book

On Tuesday I mailed my passport to the National Passport Agency in Philadelphia with an extra $60 so they'll expedite its replacement. I feel a little anxious without it. Not because I live in 1950s Czechoslovakia or anything; more that I love travel so much, not having a passport even for two weeks every 10 years feels a little off.

Well, not exactly 10 years, more like 9½. While US passports last 10 years, many countries—for example, the UK, where I go several times a year—won't let you in if your passport will expire within six months. For me, my August 2010 passport would not meet UK entry requirements at the beginning of next month, so off it went. But I held onto it until after the new year so that the new one expires in 2030 instead of 2029.

I'll get the new one probably in two weeks. Meanwhile, the only sign of life I have is the certified mail receipt the Postal Service emailed me yesterday. So my old passport arrived safely in Philadelphia after all. I can hardly wait for the new one.

Comments (1) -

  • David Harper

    1/11/2020 8:40:15 PM +00:00 |

    The six-month rule is a nice little scam for passport agencies, because it means that a ten-year passport is really only a nine and a half-year passport.  Until September 2018, the UK Passport Agency would add unused time on old passports to new passports, so if you still had six months left on your old passport, your replacement would be valid for ten and a half years.  Unfortunately, this practice has now ceased, because other countries would not recognise passports whose period of validity was greater than ten years.

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