Anyone know how far ahead of expiration one can renew a passport? Also, are the renewal taking as long as the new applications? Many thanks
There is no limitation on when you can renew your passport; you can renew anytime before it expires.
Sorry TC, yes, it is taking as long to get the renewal processed. My sister had to renew hers and she's on week 12 and we leave in 3 weeks. They won't talk to you in person until you are down to 2 weeks.
When considering when to renew, keep in mind that some countries may not accept your passport if it's due to expire soon. My passport was to expire in May of 2007. I had to renew it early for a trip to Amsterdam & Paris in April. Amsterdam required that the passport be good for 3months.
I would be prudent and renew as early as possible. Just recently they did modify passport requirements for Canada, Mexico and Carribean travel to defer the need for an actual passport, allowing having applied for one to be sufficient proof for travel, but that doesn't help for European destinations. Not sure if there is any way they can expedite request based on destination. You can also show up in person at select central offices and get a passport or renewal the same day, if you are in a pinch it may be worth the hassle.