Passport

Hi,
I'm heading to France fro two 12 days March 31 to April 11. My passport expires Sept. 22, 2013. Do I have to go try to get it renewed before i go?

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7971 posts

Nope. The most stringent guidance I've ever seen says up to three months after proposed departure from France is all you need.

Posted by Lynn
Laguna Beach, CA, USA
8 posts

Thanks so much! That is what my research has found, however, trying to get though to either the Passport office or the French Counsulate has been an adventure; one I would gladly not repeat. My travel company (Gate 1) has been most unhelpful. Ah well again, I greatly appreciate your quick respone. Bon Jour! Lynn

Posted by Dave
Stamford, CT, USA
25 posts

Did not know it was 3 months after your stay ends. Always thought it was 30 days. Could be wrong, but it does sound like a good reason for it.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7971 posts

What I deleted from my initial response prior to actually posting were words to the effect that this three month business was probably from a State Department scoop sheet of some kind, that I've encountered other errors in the same source, that non-governmental sources have appeared to take the same words verbatim, that the only other potentially limiting document was the Schengen Accord, that the function of State was to relay guidance from those that actually make the rules, and that I'd never seen such guidance from a French governmental source. There was also a squip that a couple of years ago I'd returned from France with a passport that died a week later. Since then I've word-searched with every term I could think of and eye-scanned every conceivable portion of Schengen that I could spot and found no such limitation imposed by the agreement. Here's what the French Embassy site has to say: http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?rubrique102. Note that the only requiremnt listed is for a valid passport and there is no mention of expiry. Take it for what it's worth.

Posted by Dave
Stamford, CT, USA
25 posts

Interesting Ed. Probably best to have a few months left on it to be safe. Be a good idea to check the State Dept. site and see what the expiration rules of a US Passport entails.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7971 posts

Passport expiration rules for an American citizen to get back in his own country? There are none. We own the place. They can't lock us out. I've come back with an expired one. Didn't even have to leave the little kiosk. A wallet dump and whatever the computer shows got me in with less than a two-minute delay. Not even a butt-chewing. I've also come back with none. Short story: sailboat, really long trip, nobody but me, never had it on deck, never had it out of important papers pouch, turned boat upside down, nothing. Customs and immigration guys (back befroe CPB) have to come to boat to check for illegal junk. Problem solved by their walkie-talkie. I didn't even have to walk up to the office. That little booklet only proves citizenship, not having it does not deprive you of it.

Posted by Dave
Stamford, CT, USA
25 posts

Thanks Ed. Always thought your passport had to expire at least 30 days after your trip. I'm pretty sure that was true as I remember reading that. Did things change or perhaps a lot of slack is now given for this now?

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7971 posts

Beats me. The sailboat deal was late eighties, the expired one a couple of years ago. I go through a lot of passports, so I try to wring the dickens out of them unless I suspect another trip is just around the corner. The logic of thirty days seems odd. Supposing you were at Niagara and wanted to see the Canadian side for a couple of hours. You'd have to have a month left on a passport? Further logic: You don't have to leave the country with a plane/boat ticket, just drive out, leave on your own boat or plane - - there's no evidence of when you intend to come back, nor a requirement for it. I've never seen a rule and never thought about it. It could be like the nutty myth that you have to have a return ticket to get into a country - - very few have that requirement.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2380 posts

Maybe I'm missreading this thread, but passport expiration has nothing to do with the U.S. authorities or your return entry into the U.S. It is up to the country you are visiting. Some countries require the passport to be valid for a certain time beyond your visit. Others don't. My understanding is that the best rule of thumb for Schengen countries in Europe is 30 days past your return date although 90 is safest since you can legally stay up to 90 days. But if you have a return ticket, any hassle the immigration agent might give you about the expiration is likely to evaoprate since they can see when you plan to return.

Posted by Kia
Toronto, ON, Canada
112 posts

France only requires that your passport be valid for 3 months beyond the date of your travel, so you're OK (that's true of all Schengen countries).

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6831 posts

"....France only requires that your passport be valid for 3 months beyond the date of your travel, so you're OK (that's true of all Schengen countries)....." Not all Schengen countries....Germany has no expiration rule. Your passport simply needs to be valid for the duration of your stay.