Recently I am getting lots of friends, family and clients asking me why they can’t renew a passport for their children that were under 16 when the passport was issued? The response is that it is a Federal requirement that anyone under 16 that was issued a passport must go through the process of a new issue because the passports were issued for Five years.

Passports that have a validity of 5 years cannot be renewed. The process of the new issue requires all the documents to be executed and sealed so that the photo can’t be tampered with. Plus, both parents have to be present at the execution of the sealed envelope. This is a safeguard so that no one parent can use the new passport for child abduction. The procedure for minors is more complicated.

Once the applicant is 16 years or older then the passport is valid for 10 years and can be renewed. I am fortunate that being a part of Travel Document Systems I have complete information regarding Passport Renewals.

The difference can be complicated but the guideline to keep in mind is that anyone that was issued a passport under 16 must get a new issue passport until they are 16 years and older and can then obtain a 10 year passport.