Don’t expire. Keep a list.

While crossing the border recently, the friendly, helpful officer asked me if I had applied to have my Nexus card renewed.

I knew that the expiry date was approaching, and even the exact day (because, like drivers’ licenses, they expire on your birthday,) but I had mentally filed that far in the future. Months, perhaps even years. I rarely have birthdays any more. His helpful reminder zapped me back to reality, because it is only a couple of months away, which is no time at all when one is waiting for a government agency to process something, and travel documents must NOT be allowed to expire as we use them frequently and it is a huge pain to start the process from the beginning again. I should have been more prepared.


What am I going to do about this? And recommend you do also?

1. Keep a list of expiry dates.

  • any identification that will expire: the driver’s license. Check your wallet and folders for others; depending on your circumstances, you may have a temporary work permit, social insurance card, or other government-issued document.
  • travel documents: passports and/or nexus cards
  • credit and bank cards; yes, they usually send you a new one at the appropriate time, but don’t rely on them. Also keep a list of any accounts that are automatically charged to those cards, as you will need to update them when the dates or numbers change.
  • service contracts: cell phones, cable or internet service packages, especially if you receive an introductory rate for a certain amount of time. You’ll want to renegotiate before that package ends.
  • memberships: cultural or sports activities, fitness centres
  • magazine or newspaper subscriptions: yes, they send you notices to renew. I find that they send them every few weeks, so they all land in the recycling, so I need to know when the appropriate time comes.

2. Mark those dates on the calendar.

Whether the calendar is paper or electronic, make a note of when those expiry dates are, and also make a note ahead of time to remind yourself to fill out the forms, make the appointment, send the money, or just double-check that the replacement has arrived.

Whew. Crisis averted.


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