The US State Department just recently announced this past week that all U.S. Passport Agencies are in at least phase 1, 2 or 3 of their 3-phase reopening plan. This is great news as now all passport agencies are accepting and processing passport applications and renewals. If you are applying for a passport, you will need to apply at a passport acceptance facility. The closest passport facility to you can be found here. If you are renewing your passport, you can easily renew by mail. Additional information regarding passport applications and renewals can be found here on the U.S. Department of State’s website. Both normal and expedited service are now available. Normal service for a new passport application or a renewal for an expired passport is taking approximately 10 – 12 weeks and expedited service is taking approximately 4 – 6 weeks.
Below are our top 3 reminders regarding passports and passport validity to keep in mind:
- Passports must be valid for at least 6 months past your return date of travel to the US. Lets say you are traveling to Europe November 5 – 15, 2021, then your passport must be valid until at least May 15, 2022! Otherwise, you may have trouble leaving the country or getting back into the country.
- If you have travel plans in 2020 or early 2021, please check your passport and make sure it is valid for at least 6 months past your return date of travel to the US. If not, start processing your passport application as soon as possible!
- When applying for a new passport or a renewal, you can also ask for a Passport Card with your new Passport. Passport Cards can be used as a REAL ID and are valid for land and sea border crossings between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Passport cards are not valid for other international air travel. As of October 2021, a REAL ID will be required to board any flights within the United States. The Passport Card provides an easy way to make sure you have the REAL ID!
We are all looking forward to traveling! Just make sure that your passport is as ready to travel as you are!!