Turning 18 is a huge turning point since you gain several legal rights and responsibilities in the U.S. Even though you cannot drink or gamble in most states, at 18, you can buy a house, vote, join the military, and work full-time. You are also responsible for your actions, so if you violate the law, you can face charges as an adult and are legally bound to pay any debts you incur.
Reaching this important milestone may entice you to want to travel abroad with family or friends. However, this raises the question: Do you need a new passport when you turn 18? Well, the answer to your question is maybe.
Here’s an explainer to help you determine if you must apply for a new passport as soon as you turn 18.
U.S. Passport Validity: Do You Need a New Passport When You Turn 18?
The U.S. issues two types of passports: those valid for five years, given to children, and those valid for ten years, given to adults. Anyone applying for a passport before they turn 16 gets a children’s travel document with a five-year expiration date. If you applied for your passport after you turned 16, it has a 10-year validity.
But do you need a new passport when you turn 18? Not unless the passport has reached the end of the five-year expiry when you turn 18. Therefore, if you were issued your travel document at 15, you can still travel with it until you reach the age of twenty as long as it meets the requirements of your chosen destination. Many destinations won’t accept you if you aren’t returning to the U.S. at least a few months before your passport expires. When it’s about to expire, you can apply for your new 10-year travel document.
If you apply for your passport after turning 16, it expires ten years later when you turn 26.
Under What Circumstances Can You Apply for a New Passport if Yours Hasn’t Expired Yet?
If you hold a valid passport when you turn 18, you don’t need to get a new one unless it has expired. However, you can also apply for a new travel document in the following cases:
- Your existing passport has damage.
- It was stolen or lost.
- You have changed your name (your passport must always reflect any legal name changes).
- You can also apply for a new passport if you want to benefit from an adult passport’s full validity of 10 years.
Are Passports Renewable?
If you or your parents applied for your passport before you turned 16, you will have a passport with a 5-year validity. Therefore, unlike adult passports, these passports are not renewable but require a new application.
Once you have an adult passport, you can renew it after its 10-year lapse. You must present the following for a passport renewal:
- A completed DS-82 form
- Passport photo
- The fee for passport renewal
- Your most recent passport
- Any documentation showing a name change, if applicable
Your passport reflects your proof of identification or U.S. citizenship, so you won’t need to include any paperwork proving this.
What are the Requirements to Apply for a New Adult Passport?
The official U.S. government website, Usagov, provides the following information about the requirements when applying for your first adult passport.
If you are a holder of a children’s passport and are applying for an adult passport for the first time, you will need the following documents:
- A completed DS-11 form that the local acceptance agent verifies before you sign.
- The original proof of your U.S. citizenship, either your U.S. birth certificate or a naturalization certificate
- Proof of identification, e.g., a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID
- A recent passport photo no older than six months.
When Can You Get an Adult Passport?
You can wait for your 5-year passport to expire before applying for an adult passport, or you can apply for one when you turn 18, even if it hasn’t expired. However, you can still travel with your 5-year passport if it has not expired and meets the travel requirements of your destination.
Remember that if you plan to travel overseas and your passport expires before your return, you must apply for a new passport before your trip to avoid any issues with flying out of your destination or returning to the U.S.
The U.S. Passport Service Guide answers all your questions, making it easier to determine if you need a new passport when you turn 18.
At What Age Can You Apply for a Passport Alone?
We have established that the answer to your question: “Do you need a new passport when you turn 18’” is no, unless it is about to expire. Children aged 16-17 can only apply alone for their passports if they have a signed consent form from their parents or have their parents with them. They must also have their identification documents. Once you turn 18, you can apply alone without requiring parental consent.
What’s the Minimum Age for Getting a Passport in the U.S.?
There is no minimum age for getting a passport in the U.S. Parents can apply for a passport for their children from the moment they are newborns as long as they can provide the documentation required. All passports issued to applicants under 16 have a 5-year validity. Once they expire, these passports are not renewable. Applicants or their parents reapply for a new passport.
Time Is Money: How Long and How Much?
Don’t let the clock catch you off guard! Knowing how long it takes to process a new or renewed passport can save you from last-minute stress. The standard time is around 4-6 weeks, but you can expedite it for an extra fee. Speaking of fees, they can vary based on age and renewal status—generally between $80 and $130.
Your Passport’s Resume: Entry Requirements of Other Countries
You’ve got a passport, but can you enter the kingdom of your dream destination? Some countries require your passport to have at least six months of validity upon entry. Check the specific rules for your travel spot to avoid any airport heartbreaks.
FAQs: Your Passport Queries, Answered!
- Lost Passport Abroad? Contact your local U.S. Embassy immediately.
- Need a Passport ASAP? Consider expedited services, but they’ll cost you more.
Pro Tips for Passport Pros
- Take your passport photo early in the day. You’ll look more refreshed.
- Use a passport cover. It keeps your passport neat and has room for essentials like your boarding pass.
Oh Snap, It’s an Emergency!
Life’s unpredictable. Emergency passport services are available if you suddenly have to travel, although they come with a heftier price tag. But when time is of the essence, it’s an option worth considering.
The Law: Kid’s Play vs Adult Game
While child and adult passports serve the same fundamental purpose, the legal obligations attached differ. For instance, children’s passports often require parental consent for issuance and renewal.
What’s In Your Wallet: ID Options for Domestic Travel
Maybe flying abroad isn’t your thing, but you still want to jet-set across the States. In that case, an adult passport can also be a federally recognized ID for domestic flights.
Click or Brick: Online vs. In-Person Applications
Online applications are quick and often simpler. However, if you’re applying for the first time, you’ll have to appear to verify documents physically. Weigh the pros and cons to choose what’s best for you.
Who Ya Gonna Call? Useful Contacts and Resources
Don’t rely on hearsay or a friend-of-a-friend’s sketchy advice. Stick to official sources like government websites and dedicated helplines to get the most accurate information on passport requirements.
Unlocking the Passport Puzzle: Your Ultimate Guide to Renewals, Applications, and Special Cases
Navigating the ins and outs of passport rules can be a bit like solving a puzzle. But don’t sweat it! Whether you’re a teen about to renew your passport, a veteran looking for specific guidance, or simply wondering when and where you can renew—this section is your treasure trove of insights. We’ll decode the mystery of the post office’s role in passport applications, what turning 18 means for your travel documents, and more. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in!
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The Teen Scene: Passport Renewal for Young Adults
Hey, teenagers! Wondering about renewing your passport? It’s not as daunting as you might think. As you transition from your child passport, remember you’ll need a fresh application to obtain a ten-year adult passport. The process for a teen passport renewal is slightly different from that of an adult but still straightforward!
Post Office Protocol: Your Passport Pitstop
The good ol’ post office isn’t just for mailing letters and packages; it’s also where you can often apply for or renew your passport. Most post offices have designated times and staff trained to process passport applications, so it’s a convenient option. Just check the available hours and whether you need an appointment.
Growing Pains: From Child Passport to Teenager Passport Renewal
Outgrowing your child’s passport? Here’s the deal. Child passports aren’t renewable in the way adult passports are. So, even moving from your teens into young adulthood, you must complete a full application process. Yes, that means a new photo, forms, and fees.
A Veteran’s Guide to Passport Renewal
If you’re a veteran, you might wonder if the passport process has any special provisions for you. While the basics are the same, some consulates and passport agencies offer priority services for veterans, especially those traveling for medical reasons. It’s a good idea to inquire about any benefits you might be eligible for.
The Clock’s Ticking: When You Need a New Passport
Got a trip planned and suddenly realize your passport is about to expire? Heads up! Many countries require that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. So, if you’re cutting it close, it’s time to get a new passport, pronto!
Child’s Play: Navigating the Maze of Child Passport Renewal
Parents, renewing your child’s passport might seem complex, but it’s manageable. Unlike adult passports, child passports can’t be renewed; they need a fresh application every five years. Get the paperwork, set an appointment, and you’ll be ready.
Autonomy Awaits: At What Age Can You Renew Your Own Passport?
The magic number is 18. Once you hit this age, you no longer need parental consent to renew your passport. You’ll need to fill out a DS-82 form and present your existing passport, but other than that, you’re in control of your international destiny!
Keeping It Fresh: When and How You Can Renew Your Passport
So, when exactly can you renew your passport? Once you hold an adult passport, you can renew it anytime within the year before it expires and up to several years after it’s expired. The process involves filling out a DS-82 form, snapping a new photo, and paying the renewal fee. Easy as pie!
Turning 18 comes with specific responsibilities, even though it entails several restrictions. You can move out independently, travel, and apply for a ten-year passport at this exciting time. Do you need a new passport when you turn 18? If you still have a valid five-year travel document from when you were younger, you don’t need a new one at 18. However, you can apply for a 10-year passport if you want one with longer validity, can’t find your old one, got married, and changed your name.