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Is a US Passport Valid to Enter the US THROUGH or UNTIL Its Expiration Date?

Is a US Passport Valid to Enter the US THROUGH or UNTIL Its Expiration Date?

Old Jun 13, 18, 5:52 pm
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Is a US Passport Valid to Enter the US THROUGH or UNTIL Its Expiration Date?

Sorry for the confusing title.

If a US passport expires on September 10th, does that mean it can be used to enter the US on September 10th - or only through September 9th because it expires on the 10th?

Yes, I know there are good reasons to renew the passport before that trip, but that's not my question.

Last edited by BigFlyer; Jun 13, 18 at 6:19 pm
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Old Jun 13, 18, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
Sorry for the confusing title.

If a US passport expires on September 10th, does that mean it can be used to enter the US on September 10th - or only through September 9th because it expires on the 10th?

Yes, I know there are good reasons to renew the passport before that trip, but that's not my question.
US passports are valid until midnight on the date of expiration.
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Old Jun 13, 18, 10:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
US passports are valid until midnight on the date of expiration.
Technically that's midnight the next day It may be more clear to say 11:59pm the day of expiration
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Old Jun 14, 18, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
Sorry for the confusing title.

If a US passport expires on September 10th, does that mean it can be used to enter the US on September 10th - or only through September 9th because it expires on the 10th?

Yes, I know there are good reasons to renew the passport before that trip, but that's not my question.
It can be used to travel to the US and arrive at a US port of entry on or before the 10th. In practice, even a recently expired US passport may be used to enter the US, but the problem may be that of getting transport to the US and/or of visited host country documentation requirement applicable to foreign persons.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 1:31 am
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
Sorry for the confusing title.
I've edited the thread title for clarity.

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Old Jun 14, 18, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
In practice, even a recently expired US passport may be used to enter the US, but the problem may be that of getting transport to the US and/or of visited host country documentation requirement applicable to foreign persons.
Also - the trouble with CBP...
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Old Jun 14, 18, 1:45 am
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Two different questions. A U.S. passport is a valid travel document until 23:59:59 on the printed expiration date. But a U.S. passport is usable for the purpose of entering the United States even after it's expired because it remains valid proof of U.S. citizenship even after it's no longer a valid travel document.

(Incidentally, countries' willingness to accept their citizens back on expired passports is the reason the 3- or 6-month validity requirement is waived in some cases)

Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Also - the trouble with CBP...
CBP may send you to secondary just to make sure you're not an impostor who got his hands on Mr. X's expired passport, but a traveller who arrives at a port of entry with his own expired U.S. passport will be admitted with relatively little hassle. GUWonder is correct--if you're flying, the real issue is convincing the airline to let you board.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
Also - the trouble with CBP...
Not much trouble at all. Last week, it wasn’t even a minute of a delay from CBP due to it. More like ten seconds, and I’m not sure it was a delay as much as it was just a change in line of inquiry.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
Two different questions. A U.S. passport is a valid travel document until 23:59:59 on the printed expiration date. But a U.S. passport is usable for the purpose of entering the United States even after it's expired because it remains valid proof of U.S. citizenship even after it's no longer a valid travel document.

(Incidentally, countries' willingness to accept their citizens back on expired passports is the reason the 3- or 6-month validity requirement is waived in some cases)



CBP may send you to secondary just to make sure you're not an impostor who got his hands on Mr. X's expired passport, but a traveller who arrives at a port of entry with his own expired U.S. passport will be admitted with relatively little hassle. GUWonder is correct--if you're flying, the real issue is convincing the airline to let you board.
I understand that if I made it to a US POE with an expired passport I would be fine and would be admitted. The problem would be that the airline would likely not allow me to board with an expired passport.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 8:48 pm
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer View Post
I understand that if I made it to a US POE with an expired passport I would be fine and would be admitted. The problem would be that the airline would likely not allow me to board with an expired passport.
That's correct. You don't actually need a US Passport to re-enter the US. You'll be delayed, but once they verify your identity through database search, you're good to go. The problem is getting on the plane from wherever back to the US.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by catocony View Post
That's correct. You don't actually need a US Passport to re-enter the US. You'll be delayed, but once they verify your identity through database search, you're good to go. The problem is getting on the plane from wherever back to the US.
100% correct. And of course you can enter by land from Mexico or Canada. In the old days you did not even need ID though often they would ask for a drivers license.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 1:56 pm
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Global Entry Machine Rejected the Passport

Original poster reporting back.

Today is the expiration date of the passport - and the Global Entry Machine said it couldn't accept the passport because it expires (or "expired", don't remember what it says) on September 10th (today's date.)
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Old Sep 16, 18, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by catocony View Post
That's correct. You don't actually need a US Passport to re-enter the US. You'll be delayed, but once they verify your identity through database search, you're good to go. The problem is getting on the plane from wherever back to the US.
Huh, so if I'm in a foreign country, holding an expired US passport, an airline would rather me be stuck in a foreign country indefinitely, possibly overstaying a visa, than allow me to board a flight back to the US?
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Old Sep 16, 18, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by t325 View Post
Huh, so if I'm in a foreign country, holding an expired US passport, an airline would rather me be stuck in a foreign country indefinitely, possibly overstaying a visa, than allow me to board a flight back to the US?
Yes.

Although looking at this as what an air carrier does or does not want is the wrong way to look at it. Air carriers would much prefer that there were no travel document requirements or, perhaps more particularly, that it was not their responsibility to check them.

Air carriers can be fined significant amounts of money for permitting a person to board without proper documents. While they may try to collect that from the passenger, pursuing many people for $10K or thereabouts can be fruitless. Thus, they train their people to require the documents and be done with it. As an institutional matter, carriers would far prefer to lose one passenger's business to paying a significant fine. This is not to suggest that CBP would impose such a fine here.

But, there is an option. Any US consulate can issue a temporary passport (passport replacing document) which is good for the dates and route of travel back to the US. That is why the best advice if you lose your passport, have it stolen or screw up and let it expire, is to head to the consulate, not the airport. The land border is fine if you are in Canada, but suffers from the same or a greater problem if you are heading to the US from other than Canada.
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Old Sep 16, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Yes.

Although looking at this as what an air carrier does or does not want is the wrong way to look at it. Air carriers would much prefer that there were no travel document requirements or, perhaps more particularly, that it was not their responsibility to check them.

Air carriers can be fined significant amounts of money for permitting a person to board without proper documents. While they may try to collect that from the passenger, pursuing many people for $10K or thereabouts can be fruitless. Thus, they train their people to require the documents and be done with it. As an institutional matter, carriers would far prefer to lose one passenger's business to paying a significant fine. This is not to suggest that CBP would impose such a fine here.

But, there is an option. Any US consulate can issue a temporary passport (passport replacing document) which is good for the dates and route of travel back to the US. That is why the best advice if you lose your passport, have it stolen or screw up and let it expire, is to head to the consulate, not the airport. The land border is fine if you are in Canada, but suffers from the same or a greater problem if you are heading to the US from other than Canada.
We have some US consulates which are not able to issue those temporary passports and which donít issue passport replacing documents.
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