If you have a United States passport that expires in 2016 and 2017, the State Department says to re-new your passport as soon as possible.
The department is preparing for an influx of passport demands throughout 2016. To avoid an anticipated bottle neck at the passport counter, that could leave you angry and without a passport for your summer plans, be proactive and try to beat the rush.
Officials state they are experiencing a flood of renewals from the 10-year passports issued in 2006 and 2007. This was due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that had gone into effect in these years. This Initiative required passports for Americans who were returning by air from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Assistant Secretary of State Consular Affairs Michele Bond stated,“ We were overwhelmed then, and we are not going to be overwhelmed again.” She has actively been campaigning for Americans to start renewing early.
There has been an increase in first-time applications from Americans in states that have not yet started with the Real ID Act. The Real ID Act sets stricter standards for driver’s licenses and identity cards. Many will be surprised when they are unable to present an ID card or driver license to fly within the United States. Check out this article for more details on upcoming traveling restrictions.
The Department of Homeland Security states the deadline for Real ID will be January 22. 2018. If you don’t have a “Real ID” you will have to present an alternative form of identification like a passport.
Another reason to renew soon is that many countries require at least six months before expiration to accept you passport. The state department has experienced many calls from Americans in this situation with little time left on their passport, and who are in a panic because they were denied entry into foreign countries.
Officials are expecting to issue more that 17 million passports this year. Individuals who are seeking a passport for the first time must submit the application in person at a designated agency. The fee is $135. Renewals can take about 6 weeks, you can do this by mail for $110.
Now that you are ready to get your Passport renewed. Where’s the next adventure? Happy Travels!