Planning a trip outside the U.S. this year? Here are some passport tips to help make sure you are travel ready:
- Give plenty of time for your passport to be processed. Routine processing time for passports is 6 to 8 weeks from time of application, including mailing time. Expedited service is 2 to 3 weeks and has an additional fee.
- Does your passport have an expiration date that is less than six months for when you travel? You might want to renew your passport now. Many countries require a minimum of six months validity remaining on your US passport for entry.
- Applying for a passport for the first time or not qualified to renew your passport online? You will need to apply for your passport in person. The U.S. State Department’s U.S. Passports and International Travel website provides you with the correct form to fill out as well as a detailed list of required documents, photo requirements, application fees, and a list of your local passport acceptance facilities, which are typically post offices.
- Do you need to renew your passport? You probably can do it by mail. The required form and mailing information are available online.
- When applying in person for a passport at a local passport acceptance facility, be sure to check with your passport acceptance facility for hours of service, appointment requirements, and acceptable forms of payment.
- Check to see if a special Passport Acceptance Fair is going to be available in your area this spring. Available for first-time adult applicants and all children, these special fairs are set up to help applicants get their passports more easily.
- Keep off your glasses for your passport photo. As of November 2016, all passport photos must be taken without glasses. If you passport is current, you don’t have to make any changes. However, you will have to have a no glasses photo when you renew your passport.
To start applying for or renewing your passport now, check out the U.S. Passports website. The easy-to-use site provides all passport forms and information you will need to get your passport ready.