With free, federally-supplied, at-home, rapid COVID-19 tests ending in May 2023, it makes sense (and cents) to keep expired test kits and check online to see if your supply of tests’ shelf-life dates have been extended. Since the tests were first produced, many at-home, rapid test expiration dates have been lengthened by the FDA based on data of their continued effectiveness. Many tests have true shelf lives that extend six to 24 months beyond the labeled expiration dates. If you’ve got a few boxes of expired tests that are actually still good, that could save you $25/box or more if you were to replace them. And going forward, it’s smart to have some tests ready to use when needed as COVID is not going away.
How to check for expiration date extensions
Check the Expiration Date column of the List of Authorized At-Home OTC COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests to see if the expiration date for your at-home, rapid COVID-19 test has been extended and how to find new expiration dates. They’re listed by brand name in alphabetical order. If you find you have test kits with extended shelf lives, remember to clearly mark the boxes with the new expiration dates.