How I Almost F$@%ed Up Our Trip to Madrid

Did you know that some countries require your passport to be valid for 90 days after you leave?

Well I did, and I STILL almost %$#@ed up our trip to Madrid!

I don’t know if it was me being bad at math or what, but for some reason, I thought an April 1, 2013 expiration (for both mine and Joann’s passports) was perfectly fine for our trip on January 24-28, 2013. That’s 90 days right?

Either way, for some reason, it just dawned on me today that our passports weren’t valid for the 90 days and I went into total freak-out mode.

After settling down and realizing it’s not the end of the world, I got the lowdown on what we had to do. Yelp was REALLY a lifesaver for some great tips. We had to go to our closest regional passport agency and apply in-person.

Note: The best tip Yelp gave was to call the automated number and make an appointment. Then go to the agency whenever you can. The actual appointment time doesn’t matter. The fact that you actually have an appointment matters, and will get you into a shorter line.

Here’s what we needed to bring with us:

  • Completed DS-82 form
  • Old passport
  • Proof of travel within 14 days, on paper
  • 1 passport-size photo
  • Check, money order, cash, or credit card to pay the fees
  • Birth certificate – Many people said we’d need this, but they never checked ours.

We got to the New York Passport Agency at 375 Hudson Street, parked, and lined up at about 6:40AM. Luckily, there were only about 7 people ahead of us.

When they opened at 7:30AM, we had to go through airport-like security. It was eerily familiar, even the grumpy officers scanning our belongings.

We got a number at the information desk, went upstairs to the processing center on the 10th floor, and our number was called before we even sat down.

All our forms were in order and $340 later ($110 renewal fee + $60 expedited service fee x 2 people), we were given a pickup receipt and told to get our passports the following day between 10AM and 4PM.

Joann was able to go the next day and pick up both of our passports easily. It’s good to know a government agency can run this efficiently! Just make sure you get there early.

No harm, no foul, I suppose. Now we’re all set for Madrid!

2013-01-16 18.47.53

4 Comments How I Almost F$@%ed Up Our Trip to Madrid

  1. AKold

    Not just 90 days … a lot of countries requires it to be valid for 180 days / 6 months. US Passport Agency recommends you renew at the 9-month mark! Glad you got the passports though!

  2. Pingback: Mistake to Madrid: Alitalia Economy Class New York - Rome - The #hustle Blog - The #hustle Blog

  3. Will

    While not relevant since you just got new passports, still keep in mind the physical condition of your passport – I was given a very hard time when entering back into the US because my passport was damaged – it did appear as if the photo could have been manipulated. While this was a few months after 9/11 and perhaps they were erring on the side of caution, it is still worth keeping in mind.

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