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Two months left on passport

I was checking our family in for our flights online and I realized that my husbands passport expires in less than 3 months. I tried desperately to get him an emergency passport but it’s Friday evening and we’re supposed to leave on Saturday. I don’t know why I let this slip through the cracks. I’m trying to figure out if he should try to get into France or if they absolutely will not let him in. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Posted by
21063 posts

He'll almost certainly be stopped at the US outbound airport.

Posted by
3363 posts

Unfortunately I don’t think he will even be allowed to board flight to France
Not a matter of “trying to get in”

Not sure how accurate or up to date but a quick search brings this up
Indicates France requires 3 months
https://visaguide.world/tips/passport-6-month-rule/

Have you called the airlines? Doubtful if you’ll get the answer you want but it can’t hurt to try.

Posted by
1216 posts

Call the airline. They probably won't let you on although sometimes they don't check. What they will probably have husband. do is go to the nearest passport office and get an emergency passport and charge you to change his tickets.

Here is an article from the Washington Post about traveling with a expiring passport.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/passport-rules-regulations-invalid-expired/2021/03/31/2e5c7d80-8bd6-11eb-a730-1b4ed9656258_story.html

Posted by
27 posts

Is it really your fault that your husband's passport has only 2 months validity?

Posted by
17 posts

So mad at myself. I can't figure out if it's discretionary or not. I have spoken to a few passport people who seems to think it's possible to get in but it's hard to know for sure. This happened to my sister in law when she was visiting Abu Dhabi and she got in but needed an emergency passport of the embassy. Not sure if they would do that in France.

Posted by
2643 posts

You must just feel sick right now. And I'm sorry to be the bearer of news that will not improve the outlook.

This is from the US Department of State website in the Visa requirements section:

The Government of France does not recognize the 12-page U.S. emergency passport, issued by U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, as a valid travel document for visa-free entry into France. If traveling on this emergency passport, you may be refused boarding and/or entry by immigration officials. Only direct transit through France for a destination in the United States is permitted with an emergency passport.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/France.html

Posted by
5152 posts

I am so sorry. You have some big decisions ahead. Do you go ahead with the rest of the family and your husband follows with a new passport on Monday or Tuesday? Do you all just wait until you can go together? Neither choice is very attractive.

I wish you the very best.

Posted by
17 posts

So you’re saying that even if he was able to obtain an emergency passport France might still not let him in? Does anyone know if it would even be possible to change the dates of my flight to possible the summer? Or would I likely lose all the money we spent for the ticket? I think I would lose all the money I spent on my air bnb but if I could at least change my booking day it might be worth it. So devastated.

Posted by
5152 posts

It is possible to get him a regular passport at a passport office if you can get an appointment. It doesn’t have to be an emergency version. The trick is to get the appointment. Have you looked online?

I had one possible other idea and I don’t know that it is a good one. Is there a neighboring country with a two month requirement that he could fly into? Entering France by land wouldn’t face the same passport check as by air.

You will need to contact the airlines to see what they say. There is still the option for the rest of the family to go if lodging and airfare would be lost otherwise.

Posted by
5152 posts

It is possible to travel to the UK on his passport. It must only be valid for the duration of his stay. I don’t know if you might want to see if airline might let you change destination……..

Posted by
3363 posts

Only you can determine if his flight is changeable
Check with your airlines
We have no idea what you’ve booked

United no longer charges change fees
Not sure about others

Posted by
6614 posts

lWhile they don't charge change fees the times we have had to do changes it has been horribly expensive because the 'class of ticket' (not business or coach but the code for the class we bought) is not available on the new flight -- only a MUCH more expensive one is.

I'd go ahead and leave him behind and have him follow once he gets the new passport -- usually when you have a flight booked and a problem like this you can get a new passport in a day or two -- but the people I know who did this, did it a few years ago.

Airlines are not likely to let him board because I think France will send him back and that cost may fall on the airline -- they don't want to transport anyone they may be responsible for.

Such a bummer.

Posted by
2891 posts

"It is possible to travel to the UK on his passport. It must only be valid for the duration of his stay. I don’t know if you might want to see if airline might let you change destination…….."
He still will not be allowed into France because there is passport control between the UK and France. Please note that you are allowed to travel to France and to all other members of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa, as long as your U.S. passport is valid for at least 3 months after your planned return to the United States. The UK is not a member of the Schengen Zone so you have passport control when you cross the UK/France border. The Schengen states all require the 3 months. Assuming you do not want to leave him behind ( which is what I would do and what my husband would want pur family to do), best bet is to try and find an appointment at the nearest passport office and get non-emergency passport in 24 to 48 hours or change the trip and put the cost out of your mind.
There are 26 regional passport agencies in cities across the United States. If your husband wants to try to get a passport at a regional passport office, he must make an appointment by calling the National Passport Information Center: 877-487-2778. In addition, he must have proof that he needs a passport urgently, such as a flight itinerary showing a departure within the next two weeks. Since his departure is in less than 8 business days, he should be able to pick up his passport at the regional passport agency. This will be a regular passport not an emergency passport. A few years ago, I helped my nephew get his passport that way when if you can believe it, he forgot to renew his passport before a year-long trip. I have also used a passport expediting service and the passport was ready in about 8 hours after dropping off the sealed package from a passport acceptance facility with the expediter. At the time, here in the San Francisco Bay Area, there was a passport acceptance facility in a county clerk's office that did not take appointments so I showed up early and was helped after waiting about 4 hours, including an hour when they closed for lunch. Then I drove the packet to Peninsula Visa in San Jose. This was in 2016 and it possible that COVID has messed up that process. You can find the facilities at https://iafdb.travel.state.gov/.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks so much everyone for trying to give me some advice. I’m thinking that maybe if they absolutely won’t let him in we could all just fly to the UK and maybe the US embassy there could issue a passport for him. Maybe delta can add a flight from Paris to heathrow and we can just stay in UK. I’ll let you know what happens! Thanks so much everyone.

Posted by
2891 posts

That last plan is not going to work but good luck!

Posted by
1216 posts

You don't want to be detained by the UK immigration police. Your husband should get his emergency appointment now and meet you in France. It will not take long if he has his flight reservations.

Posted by
2643 posts

Well played if it was... it fooled me in the best possible way for a travel forum...pathos and all

Although I wouldn't have minded the outcome so long as the OP still got her vacation in France! She worked for it, April fool's joke or no!!

Posted by
17 posts

I wish it was an April fool's joke. I spent all day thinking I would wake up from an anxiety dream. Going to the airport soon to see what they say. No good options. No appointments available at emergency passport. I’ll have to rely on some fluke bit of kindness from a bureaucrat. Wish me luck.

Posted by
2643 posts

Oh drat, I was really hoping it was an April Fool and the joke was on all of us. Now I'm just sad, and hoping for the best.

Posted by
9702 posts

"I expect several people double checked their passport expiration dates thanks to you."

This is exactly how your thread is helping others. Doesn't do much for you but yes...I even gave myself a pause and put thought in to when I'd renewed....and yes, right before the pandemic so I'm good until 2030. And yes, I've pulled out the correct one for my upcoming trip.

Posted by
3363 posts

It’s a good reminder to all of us to check expiration and RENEW well ahead of time

Posted by
1216 posts

It was my parent's renewing their passports that alerted me. My mom keeps copies of my passport in case something happens. She called me and told me my passport had expired last year. I didn't believe her but sure enough my passport had expired 3 months previously. Luckily it was during the pandemic and I wasn't traveling anywhere. But it can creep up on you.

Posted by
11246 posts

Keep this in mind......IF the airline lets you onboard, and you get to French immigration, and they deny him entry, it will not be fun for him.

He will be held by the authorities and put on the next available flight back to the USA. If there are no fights that day, or much it is much later in the day, he is not held in a comfy lounge. It is in a holding cell.

Should that happen, the airline has to fly him back. And if its found that the airline was at fault for not following French rules, the airline will be fined and have to eat the cost off flying him back.

I hate to say it, but more than likely, he won't make it on the plane. There is a small chance the gate agent may miss it, but the French won't.

You might want to get in touch with the closest French consulate and ask them.

Posted by
3186 posts

I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I wouldn't even attempt to go until I had a new passport. I 'm thinking about that Tom Hanks movie where his character gets stuck in an airport, I think for months.

Posted by
2891 posts

Please let us know how this turns out.

Posted by
84 posts

Lufthansa requires entry documentation be provided before you fly. They state it multiple times. Seeing that is what made me double check my passport ( I am good until next year). Otherwise I would have thought I had a couple more and would have been in your shoes. Best wishes for someone to help you get it expedited!

Posted by
1216 posts

It would be nice if the State department could send a postcard like the DMV does stating that your passport will be expiring soon. Especially if you are like most Americans and don't travel internationally every year.

Posted by
5 posts

I KNOW my passport is good until 2026, but like others I double-checked just to be sure. :)

Hoping your situation is resolved with as little pain as possible. Good luck.

Posted by
2643 posts

It would be nice if the State department could send a postcard like the DMV does stating that your passport will be expiring soon

Great idea! The President issued an executive order late in 2021 mandating various departments improve their customer experience. The Dept of State, and specifically the passport process, was among them. Perhaps they'll make such an improvement, though it's likely to be part of the new paperless process that was mandated by the order.

Posted by
84 posts

I recently listened to a podcast that referenced Passportsandvisas.com. It looks like they can get a renewal in 4 business days. The price is really high...but it might be worth checking out.

Posted by
17 posts

So I’m sad to report that they could not let him on the flight. When I put the passport in the scanner it picked up on the Jun expiration immediately. I wanted to just have us all stay back and go another time when we could be together but he wanted us to go and he’ll try to meet us. I don’t even know if he’ll be able to get an emergency passport though because he couldn’t get an appointment. The only thing he can do is show up as a walk in and see what happens. It would be so helpful if airlines posted a box you can check saying that you’ve read your country’s passport requirements or maybe just a reminder that says many countries require that you have an extra 6 months left on your passport before you leave. I’ll let you know if he was able to get the emergency passport.

Posted by
1734 posts

I am so sorry. I hope he gets the passport soon and is able to join you.

Posted by
5152 posts

I hope you read the website link I posted above. It tells exactly how to get an appointment at the passport office. It requires a phone call as they don't accept online appointments. Your husband should be on the phone first thing Monday am for an appointment. He might also consider trying different passport offices that he could fly to on the way to join you.

I know this is tough and I am very sorry it happened to you. I am glad that you and the kids went ahead and hopefully he will join you soon.

Posted by
7596 posts

. I don’t even know if he’ll be able to get an emergency passport though

I think someone pointed out above that an emergency passport won't do him any good as far as getting into France, as France won't accept an emergency passport for (visa-free) entry.

I didn't know that but I think it was JHK who posted that and I believe them.

Have your husband go back and carefully read JHK's detailed instructions as to what he needs to do.

I hope you and the rest of your family arrived today and are making the most of your time although you are obviously not having the trip you had hoped for and are missing your husband.

Posted by
5152 posts

It is all in the language. Her husband is not looking for an emergency passport, although she keeps using that language. He will be looking for an expedited(same day) renewal. If he gets his appointment at the passport office, he will be issued a regular US passport.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes that right it’s an expedited passport and not an emergency one. I think they used to have walk-ins but not anymore because things changed with Covid. They did tell me that they don’t allow walk-ins but that’s really the only option because they said that the only appointment I could get was in Hawaii. I think that would be too much as our trip would be almost over.

Posted by
9702 posts

Chictoria, thank you so much for the continuing updates. I hope you and the kiddos have a terrific time in spite of missing Dad. It's a good time to demonstrate flexibility in the face of adversity.

Posted by
1216 posts

I'm sorry to hear that your husband was denied but now with digital passports it's pretty inevitable. I would have your husband call the passport hotline at 8am sharp tomorrow. I'm not so sure he'll get an appointment seeing as many people probably were like your husband and forgot to look at passport expirations until the last minute.I hope you and the children can at least try to have some fun on this trip and talk daily via zoom or FaceTime with hubby.

As I said before, if the State Department really wanted to reform and streamline for the 21st century, automated passport notifications need to become a reality. It would be interesting to know how this is handled in other countries.

Posted by
2891 posts

Where is your husband willing to fly to in order to get his expedited passport? Is he willing to use an expediter and pay an additional maybe $200 to $300 for the service? To find an acceptance office that has appointments available on Tuesday, I thought about states where there might nor be a lot of demand for passport services and looked at post offices there using usps.com/scheduler. Well, there are many appointments available on Tuesday in Wheeling, West Virginia. That was the first state that I picked but there are others. I once read an article that listed the states with the most passport holders and the fewest so he would want to look in the closest one with fewer passport holders. Then after he gets the sealed package at the post office, he would have to get it to an expediter. The only expediters who can do the really fast turnover are the ones that are physically located near a regional office. If he wants to go the regional passport route, he needs to call at 7:30 AM tomorrow and be willing to fly to any regional passport office that can see him on Tuesday. The one in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the National Passport Center in New Hampshire might be possibilities. Last year, an acquaintance of mine had to fly to the midwest from California to get his expedited passport.

Posted by
8614 posts

I'm traveling to Paris for a week with my family. the first week of April

This statement from OP's other post.

Rather than going through a gauntlet of desperate measures to try to join the family, he might as well just send his passport renewal in via the usual process. The current trip is too short to warrant the bother of extreme measures.

Posted by
6614 posts

For a week trip, yeah, he should go home and have a beer. I had a boss years ago who had the same issue; he was able to fly to Miami from Nashville and get a passport in one day to make his work trip, but most of the US government has drastically cut services/budgets for customer service. I would not be surprised if last minute passports are impossible now. You can get 'emergency papers' to get home, but trickier to get a passport for travel out of the country.

So easily could happen to anyone. Sorry it happened to you OP. Sounds like everyone is handing it with grace.

Posted by
172 posts

So sorry OP- great empathy here from everyone!

I just wanted to make a couple of notes for others- hopefully save others from this experience.

An Emergency Passport is one issued by an overseas Embassy. Lose your Passport in London and get an Emergency Replacement from the Embassy. It will get you home but not into France.....

Getting an emergency- aka instant passport - in the US is totally different and used to be a bit easier with walk in service...issued only under special circumstance (last minute travel). it is NOT an emergency passport but a full blown standard passport, just like any other, but issues THAT day and handed to you. Sadly, appts needed these days and those are about impossible to get.

The simple rule, one that always works- is renew your passport 9 years out. A passport is not something you should try get your moneys worth out of-every last day so to speak. The average traveler starts in their late 20s (if not much later) and travels into their 70s. Yes, there are exceptions... If you renew every 9 years over your traveling lifetime you will need..wait of it....1 EXTRA passport over your lifetime. ONE. That is it. So holding on to it and delaying renewals is fools gold. You are not saving a dime by waiting.

Posted by
198 posts

“ As I said before, if the State Department really wanted to reform and streamline for the 21st century, automated passport notifications need to become a reality. It would be interesting to know how this is handled in other countries.”

I can only comment how this is handled in the Netherlands. A few months before my passport or driving license expires, I receive a notification in the online platform used by the government and lots of other official authorities to communicate with citizens in the Netherlands.
I can then book an online appointment and get new passport photos taken. On the day and time of the appointment I go to the city hall of the town where I live, hand in my passport photos, pay the fee of €75 and leave. After 6 working days, my new passport will be waiting at city hall for me to collect. Or I can choose to pay €3,50 extra and have it send home to me.
An expedited renewal is possible for €50 extra. The new passport will then be ready the next day.
For both regular renewal and expedited renewal walk-ins are also possible, but I prefer to make an appointment so I don’t have to wait in line.

Posted by
2891 posts

Oh, the trip is only for a week. In that case, yeah, I agree completely with Joe32f.

Posted by
443 posts

LPT - I presume everyone uses google calendar or something to that effect; go get your passport, put the expiration date in your google calendar, then set a reminder like 6 months out for renewal.

Make sure it's a google account you will use all the time.

Posted by
27718 posts

except of course that there is no guarantee that folks using google today will be using it in 10 years

Posted by
8400 posts

skunklette1771, in fact, I'd stretch that to one-year before. It could take 6-months to renew, and six-month's validity could be required some places, or you may need to apply for some complicated visas.

Posted by
443 posts

@Nigel - sure, but there's no 2029 Calendar out yet, either, so this is the best I can come up with :)

Posted by
2891 posts

Just check your passport every year on your birthday. In the year when you have 18 months or fewer, put a reminder in your calendar to renew in nine months. You don't need the government to send you a reminder.

Posted by
83 posts

Dutch Traveler, Oh, how I wish it were that easy and straight forward to get a passport renewed here in the US! Your system seems very simplified and workable. But of course, the population of the US is so much more than the Netherlands so I'm not sure it would be that easy here. It sure would be nice though!
OP, I hope you and your family can enjoy your trip. I'm sure your husband is upset and disappointed, I know I would be.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes it’s a bit difficult to really enjoy anything without feeling guilty that my husband isn’t enjoying it with us. I can’t look at anything without thinking how much he would like it. Plus I’m much more anxious because I’m not traveling alone but with 3 children. But it’s my own fault. I can’t believe I missed it. I suppose I haven’t travelled in such a a long time I forgot. I went to Canada a few years back and it wasn’t an issue with the passport. For some reason k thought it would be really easy to get into the EU. I was also trying to get him into London at the airport but the attendant told us that he would need 3 months on his passport as well. I looked it up and saw many websites that said passports are good for the duration and there was no 3 month requirement. I’m not sure if something changed or if the airline attendant was wrong. We could have stayed at my friends flat in London.

Posted by
939 posts

But it’s my own fault. I can’t believe I missed it.

I'm confused about why you're to blame for your husband's passport expiration?

Posted by
1556 posts

My husband is responsible for his own passport and its renewal. It’s not your fault! It’s his.

Posted by
17 posts

You’re right he could have also verified it as well. I usually book and plan everything so I just feel responsible. I think he may have even asked me and I said I thought it was fine.

Posted by
17 posts

We just got our three kids new passports as well in January so he did see it . Ah well it’s all water under the bridge now. Now I’m trying to decide if I still want to take the train to Caen and rent a car and drive to Mont St Michel with the kids in the rain. I’m kind of stressed about this. I hear driving in Normandy is not bad but I’m a bit thrown by driving in the rain in a foreign place.. does anyone know if there’s a bus at Caen station that will take you to Mont st Michel?

Posted by
5152 posts

Kudos to you for making the best of a difficult situation. It shows good strength of character that you stepped up and are making this a positive time for your children. They are not only learning about France but about flexibility and resilience.

Posted by
21063 posts

By public transportation it would be a long slog from Caen to Mont-St-Michel. I'd guess 3 to 4 hours one-way. I think you'd need to change buses twice, or you could use trains to Pontorson and then (I think) a bus from there. There seems to be just one train per day, at 7:46 AM, requiring two changes and not getting to MSM until 11:23 AM. I don't believe buses are frequent, either. It's really not practical to do the trip by public transportation.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks so much for the info on public transport to Mont Saint Michel. Guess I’ll suck it up and drive in the rain.

Posted by
6614 posts

Yesterday I had to drive across town after driving my husband to the doctor (he can no longer drive) because he left important paperwork at home and so I had to do the trip twice to fetch it --- annoying BUT we long ago decided to have a 'no fault marriage' and 50 years later now that we are old and make stupid mistakes like forgetting the paperwork it is nice to not have to hear about our failings. Stuff happens. Good to know your partner has your back even when you make a mistake. I am the family trip planner and so when things go sideways it is my fault too -- but I never have to hear about because we have kept our 'no fault' agreement all thee years.

This passport thing was a big deal; but it is a done deal and I hope you can continue to accept that stuff happens and it is part of life's rich pageant. An annoying part, but no one died. And time to plan a Paris trip with him. Maybe Christmas? Maybe his birthday?

You have handled this beautifully so far and hope MSM is as amazing for your kids as it was for us. I'd drive -- MSM has an enormous parking lot and the roads while small are not difficult to drive.

Posted by
2891 posts

@Chictoria, wishing you a safe drive. You and your husband have handled this well. I can't speak for others but I know that I feel for you and hope that you and your children have a safe and enjoyable trip. I am the planner in my family and when anything goes wrong I blame myself but luckily I am married to someone like janettravels and her husband who just rolls with the punches. We once missed the last ferry on a trip to Greece because I took us to the wrong ferry terminal and we had to spend the night at a hotel. A few week ago I was reminiscing about mistakes that I had made during our many trips and my family had forgotten about the missed ferry and over the years had somehow decided that we voluntarily stayed in Mykonos for the night. In 2019, I was at SFO and a family was trying to check in and it turned out that they had arrived at the airport on a date that was not the date of their tickets. Things happen. Please be easy on yourself.

Posted by
2643 posts

arrived at the airport on a date that was not the date of their tickets

I once showed up at an airport that wasn't the departure airport for my ticket. Fortunately, a credit card solved that one. And it makes for a laugh with my Dad all these years later.

These things happen to the most meticulous of planners.

Posted by
21063 posts

No flight mishaps so far, but on my first post-retirement trip (and first European trip in about 20 years), I booked my hotel stay in my first city to start the night of my transatlantic fight. Caught the error just in time to allow cancellation/re-booking with no penalty. There are so many different mistakes one can make.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks so much for the words of encouragement everyone. I’m now up at 3 in the morning here stressing about the return Covid test I have to take. When I looked at the National travel website it said that we need an antigen test. However, I was under the impression that I just needed a PCR test for travel looking at some websites. Also I thought the PCR tests take 24 hrs so how do you know if you can get on the plane before you leave.

Posted by
9702 posts

You just need an antigen test. You can do it any time the day before your flight. It doesn’t have to be 24 hours. It can be more as long as it’s the day before. It will also just take 15 minutes for results. The pharmacist will print out a copy of your results.

Are you in Paris now?? Just go to the nearest pharmacy the day before your flight and ask if you need an appointment. It’s very easy.

Posted by
2891 posts

As said above, you need only the antigen test, which is the easier and faster test to get than the PCR test. Just about any pharmacie can do it without an appointment and I feel like there is a pharmacy every two to three blocks in central Paris. I got my test done at Ma Pharmacie Bastille at the corner of Rue des Tournelles and Rue de la Bastille. They were super efficient but the person taking the swab stuck the stick so far up my nose that I passed out. My traveling companion did not pass out so I think it is just me.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes I am in Paris now. Thank you so much for clarifying. I was getting worried I would make a mistake!! I’m guessing that you bring your passports and the pharmacist gives you
Some kind of form to present at the airport? I’m going to Normandy for a couple of days and will ask on Friday about wether I need an appointment. To do it on Saturday. It sounds like it’s pretty easy and Straight forward from what your saying though.

Posted by
939 posts

They were super efficient but the person taking the swab stuck the stick so far up my nose that I passed out. My traveling companion did not pass out so I think it is just me.

During one test I had it prompted a sneezing fit that I thought would never end.

Posted by
3819 posts

Whose credit card was used for the rental car booking in Caen? If it is your husband's, you might not be able to pick up the car you reserved.

Posted by
9702 posts

Yes, go in on Friday to check about Saturday. You'll need all your passports and yes, the pharmacist will print out your results. I didn't have to ask, she just handed it to me. BTW, the pharmacies are usually very small so at the one I went to she asked me to go walk around outside for 15 minutes and come back then.

This will be the easiest thing you've done all trip, lol!

Posted by
2474 posts

Noted above was "It would be nice if the State department could send a postcard like the DMV does stating that your passport will be expiring soon. Great idea! The President issued an executive order late in 2021 mandating various departments improve their customer experience. The Dept of State, and specifically the passport process, was among them. Perhaps they'll make such an improvement, though it's likely to be part of the new paperless process that was mandated by the order."

Your drivers' license requires your address, your passport does not. And you are required to report address changes to your DMV. Mandating that the State Department keep track of the address of every passport holder would add a whole new layer of bureaucracy and expense solely to relieve people of their personal responsibility. How will they obtain the address change in order to contact when expiration is near?

Posted by
939 posts

How will they obtain the address change in order to contact when expiration is near?

I think the idea is that they'd contact passport holders via email.

I agree with you though. The thought that anything this easy and convenient could successfully be implemented in the US is comical.

Posted by
844 posts

Once you receive the results from the pharmacy, do they provide a written report for you to hand to the airlines?

Posted by
9702 posts

"Once you receive the results from the pharmacy, do they provide a written report for you to hand to the airlines?"

Yes, the pharmacie I used in Paris did without me even asking. She knew it was an exit test for the US.