Can I use my post-dated passport?

If you are a UK citizen and have a post-dated passport that won’t be valid until a certain date (due to name change for example), you will not be able to apply for ESTA, as you need to apply using a passport that is valid at the time the application is submitted. Since a post-dated passport is only valid from the date of the detail change (i.e. marriage, divorce, gender change or civil partnership ceremony), you will not be able to use it to apply until that day.
You should check the validity of your passport before you apply for ESTA and well in advance of the day you travel to make sure that everything is in order. It is always recommended that you travel with a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of your travel.
If you are worried that you might not have time to complete the application between your wedding ceremony (or getting your official documentation for any other change in detail) and your flight to the US, then you can ask a third party to submit your ESTA on your behalf. The application process is usually completed in a few minutes, but it is recommended that you leave more time in case there are any delays.
You will need to apply for ESTA again if you have a new passport issued or if you’ve changed your name since your original application. If you do not have a new passport but have changed your name or gender, you can still use your old passport to travel but using your new full name or gender. You may also travel with a ticket issued in your new name/gender and the passport under your old name/gender. You must ensure that you have all the necessary documents with you to prove your identity at border control.
These include documents such as:
  • A copy of your marriage licence
  • Divorce decree
  • Document showing a legal change in name/gender or
  • Any other legal document linking your new name and/or gender to the one on the passport.

Related FAQs


Do I need to apply for an ESTA application if my flight passes through U.S. airspace?

No. As long as the plane you are on is not landing in any continental United States territory you do not require any ESTA authorisation (or visa) as you won’t be passing through U.S. customs and immigration or setting foot on U.S. soil.

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What Information Is Required for ESTA Application?

The ESTA application is a very short form that you can complete digitally and you must provide the information for a set of questions that will determine whether your application is approved or not. Generally, it will only take around 10 minutes to find all of the required information on the application but your application will be quicker if you have all of the required information to hand.

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What happens if your ESTA expires while you are in the USA?

If you are in the US and your ESTA expires then it is not an issue, as your ESTA must only be valid when you are entering the border of the US. This is when you will get checked by the border control authorities, so when you are returning to the UK or wherever else, there is no requirement to have a valid ESTA.

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