I'm an American citizen and I have a flight out to France today. One of my travel companions informed me that having a passport that expires in less than 2 months (on June 19th) might be a problem. Will I be able to travel or am I not going?

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    @vikingsteve They might be lax at the border, but the check-in agent likely won't be.
    – Sneftel
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 7:18
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    @vikingsteve The reason they're so relaxed is because they have all the information beforehand from the airline. The idea that you can "talk your way through border control" is.. adorable though.
    – Voo
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 11:51
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    Sooooo... did you get on board? (Q asked 17 hours ago) - P.s. - get an emergency passport issued from your council/municipality (or whatever that is in America). Could possibly even try to have it issued with pick-up at the airport. Or maybe even sort it with customs at the airport itself. Though you really should've thought about this.
    – rkeet
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 13:45
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    Rule of thumb: never attempt to travel internationally with less than six months left on your passport. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 18:42
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    I'm curious: this question is from yesterday, have you managed to take the flight?
    – Pierre B
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 16:36

4 Answers 4


From Visa policy of the Schengen area:

To be able to enter the Schengen Area/Bulgaria/Croatia/Cyprus/Romania visa waiver, the above Annex II nationals are required to:

  • have a travel document which is valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of departure and which has been issued in the previous 10 years

If your passport expires in less than two months, then unfortunately you will likely be refused boarding your plane by your airline.

  • Its 2 and a half months, but i take it that won't matter much here? Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 21:27
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    @Subterfugue The passport must be valid until three months after you intend to leave the Schengen area. Whether it expires in less than two months or in two and a half months, it certainly does not meet that requirement.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 21:39
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    this answer is incorrect. it's not "likely". you will, absolutely, of course, simply, be refused to board.
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 12:05
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    @Fattie It's likely, I've seen people discussing with the attendants just before boarding because their passport was actually expired the previous week and they were allowed to board anyway. It took them quite a long discussion (we were not happy being in the same queue), but in the end, they boarded.
    – ChatterOne
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 7:43
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    what happened in the end, @Subterfugue !?
    – Fattie
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 10:11

To expand on Greg's answer, which already covers why you won't be allowed to enter the Schengen area, you might be interested in knowing that you can get a US passport in a hurry for an extra $60 (slightly more if you have them send the renewed passport by post).

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    ‘Tomorrow’ won’t be much good when the asker’s flight is today (almost certainly already gone by now), but for future visitors, this is useful information. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 18:40

TLDR: Was in exact same situation. Air France did not stop us from going or even comment on my passport expiring in 2.5 months.

I was in the exact same situation, was flying to Paris (CDG) from Salt Lake City (SLC) and my passport expired in less than 2.5 months. At the boarding gate, they called my wife and I to check our passports / validity and luckily let us go through. We were initially thinking of cancelling anything but decided it was worth the risk as we wouldn't have gotten much back on the airfare. Hope it worked out for you too! Remember to renew your passport as soon as you're back!

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    Yes, much would depend on the nationality of the airline.. You'd expect a lot more haggling possible on Air France
    – user61942
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 21:27

I would recommend asking the airline to change your departure date and drive to the nearest passport agency or center. Set up an appointment online while on the way there and get two passport photos taken. Bring your old passport. They can usually get you a passport in about 4-6 hours. Probably too late for OP, but hopefully it helps future travelers.

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    @HenningMakholm it doesn't specify the person going for the passport drives..
    – JJJ
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 18:31
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    @HenningMakholm setting up the appointment just takes a couple of minutes. One could reasonably do this during a coffee break. There are places in the US that are 1200 km from the nearest passport agency, in which case a few breaks will definitely be needed. But it probably does make more sense to make the appointment before setting off on the trip.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 19:03
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    @phoog Even further, since there isn't one in Alaska. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 20:38
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    @AzorAhai Good point. And if you're on Maui you're not going to drive to Honolulu even if it's only 160 km. Come to think of it, if you're in Alaska and don't have a passport, you're not exactly likely to be driving to Seattle any time soon, either.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 20:59
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    @HenningMakholm - you don't need to physically go to a passport center to get a passport, many post offices, local government offices, libraries, etc act as a passport acceptance facility where you can submit an application for a passport or renewal. But the best turnaround time you can expect without going to a passport agency (or paying an expediter service to go on your behalf) is 4 - 6 weeks for an expedited passport,
    – Johnny
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 23:59

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