Renewed my passport a few weeks ago. Spoke with a man who also lives in Thailand. Both of us were renewing because of travel plans and our passports expired within 6 months. Most countries require more than 6 months validity for entry.
He’d been surprised that the replacement for his first lost passport had the same renewal date as the lost one. He thought a replacement would have an expiration date 10 years from the date of issue, just like both a new or renewed passport.
I wondered if he’d ‘lost’ it on purpose. I’d read of people who were going to run out of blank pages before their passport expired considering ‘losing’ their passport because additional pages cost $82 USD vs $110 USD for a new passport with 51 blank pages and a 10 year validity period. (When I added pages last year it was thirty-something dollars. It was free before June 2010.)
But what really surprised him was the renewal date on the replacement for his second lost passport: 1 year from date of issue. He doesn’t have a long term visa so has to leave Thailand every few months to get a new tourist visa. Which means he has to renew his US passport every six months. Ouch.
I showed my Thai landlady the 2002 issued passport photo and compared it to the photo in the new one. Told her the US made me get a new passport because my hair was’t brown anymore.