I’m just curious. Do you keep your passport current (unexpired), even if you don’t have any international travel planned? I was doing some filing this weekend and looked at our passports. Between me and my two sons, we have five passports (they’re dual citizens), and all of them expire this month. We don’t have any plans to do any international travel anytime soon, although I do like to be prepared in case we need to go somewhere in a hurry. On the other hand, they’re kids and their pictures become outdated fairly quickly.
Is this an as-needed thing for you all? Or are you always ready to get out of Dodge?
I always keep it current. I don’t know about your passports but in the US it can take months to receive a new passport by ordinary processing. Especially in the run-up to the summer travel season when the offices are most busy. Rather than stress myself and/or pay extra $$ for expedited processing, I just keep it current. Once every 10 years, I send in the form. It’s not arduous.
I do use it very regularly (for an American) though – It’s been a while since I went a year without crossing a national border (mostly Canada/Carribean/Central America)
Of course, I keep it current, as I do all my documentation. If something unexpected came up, I’d hate to have a useless document in my hands. It’s like a first aid kit. You may not plan on getting hurt anytime soon, but when you need a band-aid right now it sucks not to have one around.
I do at the moment, partly because I live in a foreign country, and partly because I travel internationally at least once a year. However, there was a period (between my age of 25 and my age of 48) when I did not have a current passport, because I did no international travel between the age of 16 and the age of 48.
Yep, always. In fact, we’re expediting the kids’ passports tomorrow, as I realized that the pain in the ass “6 month window” was going to fall during our trip to Romania next week (many countries will not allow you to travel on a passport that is set to expire within 6 months).
You never know when you might need a valid passport- I have been in situations where my driver’s license was NOT considered a valid form of ID. Besides, we travel outside the US at least twice a year, so it’s necessary.
Mine is current; my husband’s is not (he’s planning to fix that). We visit the US often; I also have a sister who lives about an hour from the US border, and while visiting her, it would feel foolish to not be able to go on a day trip to the US.
What if somebody called me and said “Hey guess what I have an extra ticket to Paris we leave next week!” and I had to say no because I didn’t have a stinking passport that was current? Hells no. I keep up with it.
ETA - the new passports are hilariously tacky. It looks like all the inside pages were designed by the Franklin Mint.
I might be wrong, but I thought it was cheaper or simpler to renew the passport before it expires. So I renew it close to the expiration date. Plus the last time I renewed I asked for the passport card as well as the booklet.
It is actually advised by the state department to renew your passport 6 months prior to the expiration date. Some countries will deny you access if you have less than 6 months before the expiry of your passport.
ETA: Dewey, if you wanted cheaper, why did you add the passport card? The card is only good for travel in North America, is really only beneficial for people that are regularly driving across the borders from Canada, US and Mexico.
Just got my renewed one last week. My husband and I live in Europe and we like to travel, although thanks to the Schengen treaty, we only need them sometimes. They expired next October, but we thought we’d better not push our luck or wait til the last minute, having to apply through the American Embassy and all. But it only took a *week *to get the new ones!
I just checked, and the card is $30 extra. But I renewed in either 2009 or 2010, and as I remember, there was no additional charge for the card then. Still, perhaps it’s worth it just for the convenience of another wallet-sized piece of ID.