By anonymous
Today, I went to the airport to start the amazing 3 week vacation in Costa Rica that I've been saving for and planning for more than a year. They wouldn't let me on the plane because my passport expires in less than 6 months. FML
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  lilobennett  |  0

I don't know if it's the same in EVERY country, but here (Australia) I heard that if there's six months or less left on your passport you need to renew it or
you can't fly out of the country. the only
good reasoning I can see for that is if you go somewhere an your passport expires while you're gone.
but that really sucks OP. you're only gonna be gone three weeks do I don't udestand why they can't just let you go :(

  chippa  |  24

#50, #25 already explained.
It's a pretty legit reason. If you go on a trip the day before your passport expires, you're never going to get back. If it's a one-way thing and you're moving to wherever you're flying or returning home, the rule doesn't apply (I don't think). But imagine something disastrous happens while you're away on vacation and you're held there for six months? Then you can't get back.


It might be a dumb rule but anything written about foreign travel warns you about this. I'm pretty sure it even says this when you apply for a passport. When you plan a trip out of the country you should make sure you know things like this

  kofinater  |  3

So what is the point of having that 6 months, couldn't they simply make it expire 6 months earlier . . .

  k9obsessed  |  5

I agree. That is so assinine. If you're going for a longer time, that's one thing. But if you're only going for a few weeks, keeping you from going anywhere over that is just plain stupid. I don't care if it's a thing that's being implimented in entire countries, because there's no sensible logic to it. I say you fight it.

  PandaMantis  |  6

54, that's not true. you go to the Consulate for your country and they get you home. This is also true for those who lose their passports on vacation.

I can see not being allowed to leave the country the day before your passport expires, but if your return ticket is well before the expiration date, it seems a little crazy to not be allowed to take vacation.


While it's a stupid rule, you've been planning this holiday for over a year, that's also something you should have looked in to, and planned. Id want to make sure I have absolutely everything figured out before I left my country. Although when I went backpacking in Europe last year, I forgot to pack socks.

  LilaBear  |  1

thorscope, you're missing the point. You can USE your passport right up til it expires, but you often can't LEAVE your home country within those last 6 months (or enter a new country within those last 6 months - the specific rules depend on which country issued your passport and which country you are visiting). So if you leave your home country 8 months before it expires, stay at your destination for 8 months (til just before it expires) then come home, you're fine.

It's a safety precaution. These other countries don't want you rocking up in their country and overstaying with an expired passport if you decide to stay longer than you originally planned, or if you somehow get trapped there for a while. It doesn't mean the passport is useless for those last 6 months.

  xerxes190  |  3

it is a law- it's incase you get stranded over there- by having the six month rule you would have to be stranded for 6 months before your passport run out
you should have done your research

  ImaginaryFoe  |  0

I have to agree. Even if it seems ridiculous, it is the law. All the time you spent planning and you didn't look into the regulations at all? Flying is such a hassle these days that I call three different sources to verify I won't be arrested, deported, have my luggage confiscated, etc.

By  kaylynn732  |  0

OMG. I'd call someone fast. I don't know what you can do about the passport but I would see if you could move any dates, hotel reservations, ect. No fair for you to lose all that money over one mistake. If you took off work, maybe see if you can work these 3 weeks and move them. My boss is pretty flexible, yet reasonable, so it's worth the shot. Good Luck!

  capilot  |  10

Also, in an emergency, you can renew a passport pretty quickly. My girlfriend was planning to go to Brazil in a week and found out she only had 4 months left on her passport. We quickly found that the LA passport office would let her in the next morning, so we went to LA as fast as we could, showed them her airline reservation, and got processed that very day.

With a little luck and a lot of scrambling, OP can be in Costa Rica in just a few days. Rescheduling the airline flight's gonna be expensive though.