Travel Tips & Hacks

Why you should apply for or renew your U.S. passport before January

If you’re a U.S. citizen — now is the time to renew or apply for a passport.

There are a few reasons behind applying for a passport between September and December. The first and simplest reason is that the processing times are shortest during this period.

passport

The U.S. State Department officially declares September ‘Passport Month.’ Demand for passports is usually highest after the new year with peak processing times through summer.

According to the LA Times, “more than 18 million passports were issued in the 2016 fiscal year, setting a record. The agency’s website is expecting the number to hit 20 million this year.”

passport

Aside from processing times — there’s another reason to make sure you have a valid passport. The Real ID Act will go into effect in 2018.

What is the Real ID act?  “The law, passed in 2005, requires state driver’s licenses to meet certain security standards to be considered a valid federal ID you can use at airport security checkpoints. If you have a license issued by a state that’s not compliant, a valid passport is your best bet for airport identification.”

“The law, passed in 2005, requires state driver’s licenses to meet certain security standards to be considered a valid federal ID you can use at airport security checkpoints. If you have a license issued by a state that’s not compliant, a valid passport is your best bet for airport identification.”

So, how can you go about renewing or applying for a U.S. passport?

For first-time passport applications, you’ll need to apply in person at your local passport acceptance facility. Bring a completed application, including citizenship evidence, photocopy of ID, photo, and fees.

For renewals, you can simply renew by mail. You will also need to send a completed application, your old or expiring passport, provide a photo, and fees.

passport

Make sure your passport is up-to-date to avoid any long processing times. Travel awaits!

 

Source: LA Times

 

 

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