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How long before expiration can one renew a French passport?

My French passport expires in approximately two years but I'd like to renew it as some picky airline has complained in the past that it wasn't in pristine conditions, even though it looks fine to most human eyes (no rant intended, just indicating that the French embassy may not agree to renew on the sole grounds it is damaged since it isn't obviously damaged, hence my question on when it can be "naturally" renewed).

  • You can apply for a new passport any time, you just do not get the rest of the time of your old passport added to your new one. (I am not sure about France but other EU countries do not add a single day, mine started running on the day I applied for it, so a week less than 10 years use of it in the end.) – Willeke Jul 2 at 17:10
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See https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexteArticle.do?idArticle=LEGIARTI000022232353&cidTexte=LEGITEXT000018763666:

I.-En cas de demande de renouvellement, le passeport est délivré sur production par le demandeur :

1° De son passeport, de son passeport de service ou de son passeport de mission délivré en application des articles 4 à 17 du présent décret, valide ou périmé depuis moins de cinq ans à la date de la demande du renouvellement ; en pareil cas, sans préjudice, le cas échéant, de la vérification des informations produites à l'appui de la demande de cet ancien titre, le demandeur est dispensé d'avoir à justifier de son état civil et de sa nationalité française ;

So there's actually no mention of a maximum validity until expiration. There's nothing here that prevent you to renew your passport the day after it was issued.

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It's fine to ask for a new passport whenever you want. I did that with a passport that got wet but was not severely damaged and the consulate had zero issues with it.

There is more pushback with national ID cards, because those are free (for you, they still cost money to produce and handle obviously) and they are probably concerned about people abusing this.

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