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Five Changes to Passport Services And Validity in 2018

If your passport has been gathering dust or if you travel often and have gotten lax about checking your passport, here are some changes that will be happening in 2018 that you should pay special attention to.

  • The U.S. State Bureau of Consular Affair will begin holding events around the country to help first time passport applicants with the passport application process. Look for those to pop up in your area, as they will walk you through the process and make it easier for you.
  • You will soon be able to renew your passport online (mid 2018)
  • Rather than checking new passport rules and requirements on the sometimes outdated website, starting in 2018 updates will come via mail and email.
  • Beginning on January 22, 2018, state issued driver’s licenses that don’t meet the REAL ID Act requirements will not be good enough to board domestic flights. Many states have been granted an extension, so it is important to check on your state.  For example, Washington State currently has an extension until October 2018.  You don’t want to get caught unprepared just flying to see Aunt Sue, so make sure you carry the appropriate ID.

The FIFTH change is really a heads up about the length of time it might take to get a passport or renew your passport in 2018.  The norm has been 4-6 weeks, but because the government made passports required for travel from the U.S. to Canada, Caribbean and Mexico back in 2007, the onslaught of travelers back in 2007-2009 rushed out get their passports are NOW expiring and requiring renewal.  So it will be a busy year in the passport office.

Give yourself plenty of time and also remember that most countries require your passport to be valid 6 months POST travel dates.

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