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My Son is US and Dutch citizen. We live in the US. I just found out that his US passport expires On the day he returns to the US. His Dutch passport is valid for another 3 months. Can he check in at the airline with his Dutch passport and return On his US passport?

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    He can (and probably should) check in with the US passport. – phoog Jul 29 at 0:39
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    Also, if your son is over 28, he might lose his Dutch nationality when his passport expires (depending on several other factors). He should apply for a new one as soon as possible if that is the case. – phoog Jul 29 at 2:26
  • Can he prove his US citizenship to the airline? – Harper Jul 29 at 14:44
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    @Harper airlines are not qualified to adjudicate claims of citizenship. Instead, they are liable for fines on the order of several thousand dollars for transporting passengers who lack sufficient documentation. An expired US passport is not sufficient documentation. As far as the airline is concerned, that's the end of the story. – phoog Jul 29 at 21:48
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    @Harper: and that's exactly what a US passport proves. Do not try to reenter on the wrong passport. "U.S. citizens must enter and leave the United States on valid U.S. passports, even if they hold a passport from another country" That simple. Do not start playing games, they will find out, probably very quickly; in the extreme case he can risk losing his US citizenship (if it was by naturalization). Also, he should know the passport renewal times and procedure years in advance, renew early. – smci Jul 29 at 23:38
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My Son is US and Dutch citizen. We live in the US. I just found out that his US passport expires On the day he returns to the US. His Dutch passport is valid for another 3 months. Can he check in at the airline with his Dutch passport and return On his US passport?

He can only check in with his Dutch passport if he applies for and is granted ESTA authorization. In the application, he will have to declare that he is also a US citizen. We have had a few reports here of people getting ESTA authorization after making such a disclosure, but the government could change its rules such that dual citizens cannot get ESTA authorization. It may already have made that change; the criteria for deciding ESTA applications are not public. Furthermore, the application could be denied for any of several other reasons.

But your son can check in with his US passport. It need be valid only on the day of arrival.

As noted in another answer however, if there's time for him to get a passport at his nearest embassy or consulate, he should probably do that for peace of mind. If his flight to the US were to be cancelled or delayed so that his arrival would be the next day or later, he could have done trouble getting back home.

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    Trouble, yes, but if he actually got there they cannot refuse entry. – Joshua Jul 29 at 19:11
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    @Joshua trouble in this case is needing to get to an embassy to get a new passport and probably having to delay his return by at least one more day. Or having to fly to Canada or Mexico with the Dutch passport and make his way to the US by land. He won't be able to fly to the US with an expired passport, so if his flight is delayed he won't be able to "actually" get to the US without trouble. – phoog Jul 29 at 21:51
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Yes. The airlines see people all the time with more than one passport. An expiring passport on the day of travel is cutting it a bit close, but is not a problem in itself.

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He should be alright, though I would be nervous to travel with that tight of a margin.

How long is he in the Netherlands? Is it long enough for him to apply for and receive a US passport from the embassy/consulate there?

That would be a safer route I would think.

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    Back to USA with a still-valid-today US passport should be fine. Don't try to go anywhere else with it, though! – WGroleau Jul 29 at 0:44
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    @Ozzy a US citizen cannot be denied entry to the US. The problem would arise if the departure of the flight is delayed, since the airline will not allow someone to board if they will arrive after the passport expires. – phoog Jul 29 at 1:55
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    Wouldn't the airline people know that a US citizen cannot be denied entry? Refusing to let them on a flight home would be frowned on by the country they are trying to leave. – WGroleau Jul 29 at 3:52
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    @WGroleau one might be able to talk one's way onto the plane, but timatic notes that US passports must be valid on arrival, a requirement imposed by US statutory law. (This is in contrast to the entry on the UK, for example.) The fact that the statute isn't constitutionally enforceable doesn't seem to matter. – phoog Jul 29 at 8:17
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    The passport is valid on the day it expires. And the following day, it isn't valid, but it's still proof of citizenship. – WGroleau Jul 29 at 13:04

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