Since many people forget to renew their passports on time, Passport Seva Kendras or offices have started sending out reminder alerts before the expiry of their passport.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said SMSes are being sent to passport holders before expiry of their passport starting September 2019. Two SMS are being sent to the concerned passport holders – one before 9 months and another before 7 months of the date of expiry of their passport.
“This has been initiated by the ministry as a citizen friendly proactive service delivery measures to the valid passport holders. As part of the SMS, citizens are also informed about the authenticate website of the Ministry www.passportindia.gov.in for online submission of application related to passport services,” MEA said.
A typical such SMS message for passport renewal reads like this: “Dear Passport Holder, Your Passport KXXXX949 will expire on XX-Feb-20. Apply reissue at www.passportindia.gov.in or mPassport Seva App. Please ignore, if applied”.
Most countries allow people to travel with passports with a minimum validity of six months and travellers often realise that their passport is about to expire only at the last minute while booking their flight tickets.
An ordinary passport for adults is valid for 10 years from the date of issue and can be renewed for another 10 years while the validity of a minor’s passport is restricted to five years or till they attain the age of 18, whichever is earlier.
A recent report of the world’s most powerful passports had ranked Indian passport at number 82 as it gives visa-free entry to 58 destinations all over the world.