Passport rules, regulations can create issues on international trips

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan
Credit: MGN

FORT MYERS, Fla. Kristen Howerton carefully planned a trip to Haiti for her son’s birthday, but it almost didn’t happen.

Haiti requires passports be valid for six months after your return date.

“I was surprised because my assumption is the expiration date is the last date you could travel,” Howerton said.

Howerton and her kids made it to Haiti, but she had to pay nearly $600 to expedite new passports.

Travel consultant Jeanelle Harrison explained while it may be inconvenient the rule could actually protect travelers.

“If something were to happen to you while you were there, say you had to go to the hospital or something happened like you had to stay past the three months past your expiration date, you wouldn’t have a valid passport to fly home and that could be a problem,” Harrison said.

Each country has its own rules and regulations regarding passports and sometimes it’s more than the expiration date.

“If you’re going to Russia, China, Vietnam, Brazil, certain places you do actually have to have a visa and it’s something you actually have to send your passport off, you do have to have blank pages for you to put your visa in,” Harrison said.

In some countries, a passport card or a birth certificate wouldn’t be enough to fly back to the U.S. It’s important to check with the Department of State or an travel agent before booking international trips.


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