You would be shocked if I told you how many times a reader, friend or family member has emailed, texted or called me in a panic because they’d just found out their passport had expired or was about to expire and they were leaving on an international trip. The operative word here is “were” because most of them weren’t able to get their passport back in time. RELATED: What You Need To Know About Renewing or Getting an Emergency Passport in the U.S.
Every January, one of my top travel tips is this: If you’re planning to travel out of the country this summer, now is the time to find your passport and make sure it’s valid. Actually, regardless of whether you’re planning to travel this summer or not, go find your passport and check the expiration date.
Remember that many countries require that your passport be valid for at least six months after your arrival date before they’ll grant entry to their country. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going for a day; if you don’t have at least six months validity, you could, and probably will, be denied entry.
Do yourself a favor before the summer crunch hits and you have to pay to expedite the process, renew or apply for a passport now. Here’s how.
It’s also a great time to get a passport as the U.S. State Department announced last month: “Passport processing times have returned to our pre-pandemic norm. As of December 18, 2023, passport applications will be processed within 6-8 weeks for routine service and 2-3 weeks for expedited service, which costs an additional $60.”
How Many Americans Have Passports?
Do you want some more good news? The number of Americans who now have passports has gone up drastically. According to the State Department in 1990, “only five percent of Americans had a passport. Today, that number is 48%.” Forty-eight percent is huge. Well done, Americans!
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–What You Need To Know About Renewing or Getting an Emergency Passport in the U.S.