I am a US citizen living in Mexico. My passport will expire before I get back to the US. Must I make arrangements to return to the US to renew or do I have an extension on this?

  • 1
    What is your status in Mexico? Are you concerned about Mexican law or US law? In any event, it is possible to get a new passport without returning to the US, as noted in the answer. If you're planning to fly to the US, then you will normally need a valid passport to board the flight. – phoog Jan 7 '19 at 18:38
  • You can apply for a passport at your nearest US consulate, you don't need to travel to the US to renew it. See mx.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/… – Midavalo Jan 14 '19 at 22:47

This US State Department webpage says to renew your passport you must apply in person at the nearest US consulate or embassy in Mexico. There is no mention of "extension." The page's text is:

Apply Outside the United States


If you live in any other country besides Canada, you must apply in person at a U.S. embassy or consulate for all passport services. Each U.S. embassy and consulate has different procedures for submitting and processing your final documents, but the forms, supporting documentation, fees, and finished products are similar.

  • 2
    What about Mexican law? Is it legal to remain in Mexico after the passport expires? – phoog Jan 7 '19 at 18:37
  • @phoog Good question. I don't know the answer. – DavidSupportsMonica Jan 7 '19 at 18:50
  • 1
    @phoog That would depend on their legal status in Mexico. A legal resident would probably be fine without a passport as the resident ID is what the Mexican authorities require you to carry. If in Mexico on a tourist permit (or less) then a valid passport would be required (although whether it's ever requested is another matter) – Midavalo Jan 13 '19 at 17:16
  • And one might come to the attention of the authorities unintentionally — as, for example, after a traffic accident. – DavidSupportsMonica Jan 13 '19 at 17:29
  • @David around where I live you don't even need a traffic accident - there are police and military checkpoints (some permanent, some appear at random) on the major roads in the area. The police will often ask for license, insurance, and sometimes even passports, residency ID etc., I guess whatever they want to ask for on the day. I have heard of INM (Mexico immigration) being involved in the checkpoints and people being fined or warned when they aren't carrying proof of being legal in Mexico. – Midavalo Jan 14 '19 at 22:45

A US citizen is not required to maintain a valid US passport (although it might be a good idea to maintain one just in case). So, if you want, you could let it expire and only apply for a US passport at a US consulate the next time you need one (e.g. to travel to the US), even if that is many years after your previous US passport expired.

  • However Mexico will possibly require a valid passport if you wish to remain legally in Mexico – Midavalo Jan 13 '19 at 17:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.