Passports in general

Passport validity

How long is a passport valid for?

A passport is valid for different periods of time. It depends on the age of the passport holder:

  • adult (16 years of age or over): five or 10 years, depending on which you choose
  • children (0 to 15 years of age): five years
I have a valid passport. When can I apply for a new passport?

If you want to renew your passport using the simplified renewal process, your passport must be valid for less than 12 months.

However, you may submit a renewal application even if your current passport is valid for more than 12 months if:

  • your passport is full
  • you want to replace your non-electronic passport with an ePassport

Include a letter explaining your reason for renewal with your application.

If you have changed your name, you should apply for a new passport using the adult general application form. Make sure the name on the application is the same name as your other identification.

We don’t transfer the unused validity period on your old passport to your new passport.

My valid passport is filled with visa stamps. Can I add more pages or replace it for free?

No. If your passport is full, you must renew it and pay the fees. You may apply for the five-year validity period if you think you’ll be running out of pages in a short time period.

Changing personal information

I changed my name. What should I do?

If you have changed your name on your other identification documents, you should apply for a new passport in the same name. If you don’t, you may face problems or delays at border crossings.

For any name change, you must apply for a new passport by submitting a complete adult general passport application. You cannot use the renewal process. You must pay the full application fee.

You should make all travel arrangements in the name on your passport. Check with the authorities of the country of your destination to find out if you need any other documents.

How do I change the address on my passport?

To change your address on your passport:

  • cross out the old address on page 4
  • write the new address in the space above the old one
    • if there isn’t enough room on the page, write the new address on a separate piece of paper and insert it into your passport
  • don’t use correction fluid (whiteout)

A change of address doesn’t make a passport invalid.

My appearance has changed. What should I do?

You should get a new passport if your appearance has changed a lot. Your photo should clearly identify you when you present your passport to border officials. Updating your photo will reduce your risk of having problems when travelling outside of Canada.

To change your passport photo, you must apply for a new passport and pay the fees.

What do I do if my name is spelled wrong on page 2?

If your name is spelled wrong on your passport, you should contact us right away.

How do I change the emergency contact information on my passport?

To change your emergency contact information:

  • cross out the old contact on page 4
  • write the new contact in the space provided
    • if there isn’t enough room on the page, write the new information on a separate piece of paper and put it in your passport
  • don’t use correction fluid (whiteout)
How do I change my sex designation in my passport or other travel document?

You can apply for a new passport or travel document at a passport office location or by mail. You will need to provide documentary evidence.

Lost, Stolen or damaged passport

My passport was lost/stolen/damaged. What should I do?

You must tell us right away of any lost, stolen or damaged travel document.

In Canada, call us at 1-800-567-6868 to report the loss, theft or damaged travel document.

If you’re outside of Canada, report the loss, theft or damaged travel document to the nearest Government of Canada office abroad.

Learn more about lost, stolen, found, damaged or inaccessible passports.

Passport of a deceased person

What should I do with the passport of a deceased person?

If the passport is valid, you should mail it to us to cancel at:

Passport Program
Gatineau QC K1A 0G3
Canada

Include a copy of the death certificate and a letter telling us if we should destroy the cancelled passport or return it to you.

You don’t need to return an expired passport. However, if you want us to securely destroy it, send a note and a copy of the death certificate along with the expired passport asking for its destruction.

Passport standards and specifications

Who develops standards and specifications about passports?

The international organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), develops standards and specifications about passports and other issues concerning the safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation around the world. The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It was created in 1947.

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