What You Need to Know About Upcoming Passport Changes
If you haven’t renewed your U.S. passport since 2006 or 2007, now’s the time to ensure you’re up-to-date. In January, U.S. State Department officials announced they’re expecting a spike in passport applications and renewals in 2016, with 10-year passports set to expire soon.
1. Dont wait till the last minute.
It takes longer to get a passport renewed so make sure you give adequate time to receive your passport after you have applied for your upcoming trip. The Passport Bureau of Consular Affairs are expecting more than 20 million applications in 2017 and while The Passport Bureua will do everything they can to ensure you will receive your passport in timely manner but with 20 million applicants things are not going to go as quickly as you would like so get your application in early so you will not miss your trip.
2. How far in advance should you renew your passport?
Most countries require your passport to be valid for six months following your incoming flight? That means that even though your passport may technically not be expired for the duration of your trip, you could still not be allowed to leave the country.
The Six Months Validity Rule is imposed by foreign countries, and not by the United States. It simply means that your passport should be valid for more than six months before you would be allowed to enter a foreign destination.
This rule is imposed by some of the countries I have listed below. (Visit Passports and International Travel for more countries who require the 6 month rule.
3. Passport Fees
Fees depend on several factors such as if you are just getting a passport card or if you opt for expedited service. The passport application fee and the execution fee are non-refundable. They are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued.
4. Renew your passport even if you do not plan to travel.
You never know when the travel bug might hit you or you might win the lottery and who has time to be waiting around 60 days to get a passport after you have hit the mega millions? It’s always good to just know you have it.
Also, a passport is an official proof of citizenship, and a great backup should you ever lose your driver’s license. I just lost my license two weeks ago flying to MN and I was able to use my passport as ID and had I not had a passport I would not have been able to fly.
5. Renewal process for children
“Remember the requirements for children are more stringent and the renewal process can be time-intensive for minors under 16, with additional steps and materials required, including the child’s social security number number and a DS-3053 Form that serves as a statement of consent from the minor’s parents. Additionally, for those under 16, passport applications and renewals must be submitted in person. Keep in mind that passports for younger travelers are only valid for five years, so it’s important to budget enough time to get renewed before your next international trip with the kiddos.
Do you have a passport and if not will you get one now?