grace period



A grace period is a period immediately after the deadline for an obligation during which a late fee, or other action that would have been taken as a result of failing to meet the deadline, is waived provided that the obligation is satisfied during the grace period. In other words, it is a length of time during which rules or penalties are waived or deferred. Grace periods can range from a number of minutes to a number of days or longer, and can apply in situations including arrival at a job, paying a bill, or meeting a government or legal requirement. In
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
, a grace period is a time period during which a particular rule exceptionally does not apply, or only partially applies. For the grace period in
patent law A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...
, see
novelty (patent) Novelty is a requirement for a patent claim to be patentability, patentable. An invention is not new and therefore not patentable if it was known to the public before the filing date of the patent application, or before its date of priority prior ...
. In games (
video Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media. Video was first developed for mechanical television systems, which were quickly replaced by cathode-ray tube (CRT) ...
and real life), a grace period is the time after a respawn in which a player cannot be hit or killed – they are 'safe' for a short time so that they will not die repeatedly, which would lead to loss of enjoyment.



Some companies and organizations do not view someone who fulfills an obligation within a grace period any differently from someone who does so before the original deadline. Thus a subject who is past due, but who meets the obligation within the grace period, receives equal treatment and no penalty or negative reputation. In other cases, clients may receive a partial, less severe penalty. For example, many
utility As a topic of economics Economics () is the social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses ...
companies will charge a small late fee for those who do not pay their bill by the stated due date. However, the utility service provider will wait a longer time before cutting off service. Some companies may suspend certain privileges during a grace period. For example, self storage services will often waive a late fee if the rent is not paid for up to several days past the due date, but will deny the tenant access to his or her unit until the bill is paid.


In politics, a grace period or ''honeymoon period'' may be observed during the transition to a new administration as "an initial period of harmony and goodwill".

Advantages and disadvantages

Grace periods can provide some advantages. For example, people who habitually fulfill their obligations on time, but are late on a rare occasion due to special circumstances, can avoid a penalty and maintain their reputation for timeliness provided they fulfill the obligation within the grace period. However, habitual
procrastinator Procrastination is the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so. The word has originated from the Latin word ''procrastinatus'', which itself evo ...
s may come to view the grace period as the actual deadline, and if, due to unforeseen circumstances, they are occasionally late beyond that, they might complain about the applied penalty.

Credit cards

personal finance Personal finance is the financial management which an individual or a family unit performs to personal budget, budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events. When plan ...
, a grace period is the period during which no interest is charged on a credit card. See credit card interest for further information. It can also be a time period after a payment due date within which the fee can be paid without penalty. For example, late charges may not be incurred for payments due on the first of the month if they are paid on or before the tenth of the month.

See also

Grandfather clause A grandfather clause, also known as grandfather policy, grandfathering, or grandfathered in, is a provision in which an old rule continues to apply to some existing situations while a new rule will apply to all future cases. Those exempt from t ...
* Sunset clause * Turn-off notice


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