Should I Keep an Old and Expired Passport?
Assuming you take a lot of international trips, your passport can tell quite a story.
Just surveying the many stamps in it can bring up memories of those getaways. You may experience a flood of happy memories and unique experiences that will last you a lifetime. You reminisce the pains you took of planning each vacation and how extraordinary it was to travel to these lands away from home.
But, now the passport is expired, and you’re not sure what to do with it. Is it worth anything besides those cherished memories?
Yes, besides being a keepsake, an expired passport has a few functions and should always be kept in a safe place. There are a few crucial reasons why you should keep your passport:
Visas are Still Valid
Even though your passport is expired and canceled, other countries still accept visas from your excursions abroad, especially those taken within the past ten years. Some of these countries include Russia, Italy, and Brazil.
When you travel to another country, investigate the country’s rules for entry. Some may accept a new passport and an old visa, while others need copies of old visas, along with possession of a new visa.
It Confirms Your Identity
To get that passport in the first place, you’ve already jumped through quite a few bureaucratic hoops. That includes submitting your birth certificate, social security card, and driver’s license to the Chamber of Commerce.
Even an expired passport still has all the pertinent information to confirm your identity. Should you lose your driver’s license, you can present your passport to the Motor Vehicle Department as proof of your identity. This could save you time in the motor vehicle office because you already submitted the required documents to receive the passport. The state could then process your new driver’s license more quickly.
Proves Your Citizenship
As we’ve covered, you had to put in some work to get that old passport. Along with personal information, you need to submit proof of your nationality.
Even when canceled or expired, the passport proves that you are a citizen of that country. The only condition is that you maintain a similar look to what’s in your picture. As long as you haven’t changed your hairstyle drastically, that old passport will serve well. This way, if you want to get a new passport, you don’t need to locate your original birth certificate.
Should you wish to renew your passport when the current one is expired, you will need to submit the current one to a passport agency. You may also apply to an acceptance facility, usually the local post office, or you can mail in your renewal to the state.
Once your renewed passport is ready, you will receive your passport, and the old passport will be stamped “canceled.” A corner of the corner will also be cut off, or it will have a hole punched out of the cover. Keep this in a safe place, such as a portable fire safe.
But, not every person wants to hang on to their old passport for travel purposes. They may want to keep it as a keepsake instead.
This can be a good idea if you know for sure that you will not be traveling anymore. Some items you can make with your passport are coasters, magnets, a serving tray, or shadow boxes.
There are many advantages to keep your old passport, and it’s in your best interest to store it in a safe place. Although, if you decide to dispose of it, consider the creative ways that will keep your important pages intact and discard the rest.
If your passport is expired, or will sometime soon, you should look into renewing the document. Passport Health can help with that! Call us at or check out any of our other passport and visa services.
Written for Passport Health by Sabrina Cortes. Sabrina is a freelance writer with a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgian Court University. She currently lives in the Smokey Mountains of western North Carolina.