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passport question...sorry its my first one!

Racine, Wisconsin
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passport question...sorry its my first one!

I had a question for all of you avid travelers...I got my passport today and it says on the brochure they give with info a warning that states that "if your passport has less than 6 months validity be aware that some countries will not permit you to enter or will not place a visa in your passport."

Is that something I should be worried about? We just got them these are our first ever passports, been to Mexico before but not since the changed the laws and made them required. It kind of reminds me of not being able to get a credit card when you dont have any credit, but how will you get it without a credit card LOL!

Also I signed my passport with a regular black pen, but with the type of paper it is it barely showed up so I traced over my signature a couple times to make it darker, I know realize it looks a little silly. How close do they look at your signature? I mean it is legible and I didnt mess up the lines but you can tell I traced over to make it darker and it is a little thicker.

If you are one of those rude TA people that are just going to reply with a smart alec comment then please do me a favor and dont reply at all...lol...people on here can be rude I have seen. Thank you!

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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

I received my passport only a few weeks before my first Mexico trip and it was all good. Don"t fret, they won't look that close to your signature. They just look to see if the picture matches. Have a great time in Mexico!

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Mexico
Mexico
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Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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2. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Congrats

Reason for 6 months is that you receive a paper visa on the plane good for a 6 month stay in Mexico

Always best to renew before 6 months

Re;Signature - don't worry although they may check it for cashing traveller cheques so be warned (e.g. don't bring T. cheques)

Have fun

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Mexico
Mexico
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Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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3. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Don't worry about the signature on your passport. It's true that going over and over it wasn't a great idea but hey, it's done now, so don't sweat it (just don't make the same mistake with your next passport).

As for the expiry thing, I've seen numerous posts on these boards about that (none recently though). Some people have successfully travelled to Mexico and back with less than six months to the passport expiry date, others have been hassled when they still had eight months until expiry. I think it's largely a roll of the dice.

But here's something to bear in mind ...... having your documentation in order is YOUR responsibility. Airlines get fined quite heavily if they transport you to a country that then denies you entry because your passport, visa or other papers are not in order, so there's a very good chance that you won't even be allowed on the plane. If, somehow, you do make it to whatever country you're travelling to and get denied entry at the airport, you could end up having to buy a brand new, one way ticket in order to get home. If your documentation is not in order, don't expect any airline or insurance policy to be of any help at all. I don't know what, if any, support you would get from the local consulate either, so I wouldn't count on that.

Maybe I'm just a nervous-nelly but my attitude is "why take the chance?" If you've only got three months left on your passport, you *might* get away with it but if you don't you're in for a world of hassle and the potential for a significant financial loss. I just don't understand why anyone would even risk it.

Now, if you're the absent-minded type and you only realise that your passport is going to expire in two months is it's now 20 minutes before you're due to leave for the airport (so getting a rush renewal isn't even an option), well, then I'd say wing it and keep your fingers crossed.

Bottom line, as soon as your existing passport has about 9 months left on it, go out and get the renewal forms and deal with it.

FWIW, US folk have it better than Canadians - our passports are only valid for 5 years ..... less that 6 months = 4.5 years!

HTH

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Mexico
Mexico
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Racine, Wisconsin
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4. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Thanks! My picture doesnt look all that like me anymore I have lost 30 pounds and will have 15 more down by the time we go (I hope) lol. But I guess it looks enough like me still just not looking like I just had my wisdom teeth pulled with my chubby face! :)

I knew I would screw up my sig, I even practiced first! If I could have signed with a sharpie I would have done better lol...that is what my credit cards are signed with.

Thanks again!

Mesa, Arizona
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5. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

re the six months...If you are traveling, say, to Mexico in December 2010, and your passport expires before June 2011, you should get it renewed.

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Mexico
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Racine, Wisconsin
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6. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

So I am paranoid now the more I look at it that my signature is gonna deny me getting on the plane at the airport....its thin in some places and thick in others...is there somewhere I can go where they can look at it and tell me if it is acceptable? Should I suck it up and get a replacement? I have time we dont leave til Nov 5th....or should I just not worry about it...lol.

charleston,sc
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7. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Do Not fret your signature! If they even question it explain it and smile. A lot of peoples appearances change. You have nothing to worry about.

Racine, Wisconsin
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8. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

If I were to trace over it again with an actual sharpie I think it would actually look better lol! I dont even know if you are allowed to sign it with a sharpie marker? Anyone know....I am making myself crazy over this...lol. Thanks all for your replies. I did call the us dept people twice (I always do this to make sure I get the same answer) one person said no big deal, the other person said to cross it out and sign above it again....dont you think that would raise suspicion? LOL...I would be devastated if I got denied at the airport, but I dont want to fork out $135 again on one! I am so mad at myself for messing it up! Blah! :(

charleston,sc
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9. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Leave it as is. As long as it is valid and you are not wanted by law enforcement you will be fine and make your plane :) It is not as important for immigration as you are worrying about. Question.. So this is a new book you just got right?

Edited: 19 August 2010, 00:42
Mankato, Minnesota
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10. Re: passport question...sorry its my first one!

Take it from a fellow Jen and my future son-in-law is from Racine, put your passport away and start planning your vacation. The only thing left to do is scan a copy of it and email it to yourself along with the front and back of any credit cards you take just before you leave, in case they are lost or stolen.

Get a "places to see and things to do" list started and a packing list, but I warn you that you might not get much of the to do list done. We found we were seriously sidetracked with just relaxing on the beach. Man was that fun!

Hope to see more questions from you and thanks for posting on the forum.