State Department Extension Allows People to Travel With Expired Passports

NEW YORK -
The cover of a U.S. Passport. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

Americans abroad whose passports expired during the pandemic will be able to travel back to the United States, the State Department said. Prior to the State Department announcement, the exception allowing U.S. citizens to return to the country on an expired passport would have ended on Friday.

USA Today reported that Customs and Border Protection officers will accept U.S. passports that expired on or after Jan. 1, 2020, until March 31, 2022. Travelers will be expected to still meet certain conditions, such as flying straight to the United States from a foreign country or make only one airport connection abroad.

The extended exemptions is intended “to lessen travel difficulties created by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the State Department said in a statement. Last week, the department announced it would increase its security surcharge fees for passports by $20.

Passport processing times has dropped from eleven to eight weeks.

Expired passports cannot be used to travel from the United States to a foreign country.