Hello everyone, new traveller here. Wife and I decided that every May we will take a vacation out of the country or on a cruise. We are not frequent travelers and are confused about the passport. We are planning a trip to Mexico and would like to know if there are any stipulations on how long your passport needs to be valid. Do we have to have the passport six months before we travel or is that the passport needs to have six months remaining before expiration? Thank you.
The latter (at least six months before expiration when you enter a country) is the common requirement.
[ Edit: Edited on 31-Jan-2016, at 10:51 by Sander ]
Thank you so much Sander! We thought dang it we don't want to wait six to eight months to even be able to leave.. Again thank you for the quick response!
Mexico doesn't enforce the 6 month validity rule - it only has to be valid for the duration of your stay - but it is always much, much safer to always have a minimum of 6 months validity remaining on your passport so there's no hassle with airline check-in agents. Some airlines (like Delta) are really hyper about enforcing their own 6 months of remaining validity regulation.
A US Passport is valid for 10 years. (If it was issued when you were under 16 years old it's valid for 5 years.)
And yes, you can of course leave the same day you receive it.
If you're applying for a new passport, or renewing one, suggest you ask for the 52-page book instead of the 28-page one. The price is the same. Effective this year, extra pages no longer can be added to U.S. passports.
Thanks for all the help guys. Really appreciate it!