What you need to know about passports right now

Those who need to renew their passports immediately are no longer able to book last-minute appointments online the State Department announced on July 22nd. The change was made “made this change to address the problem of third parties booking all available appointments using bots, and then selling them to applicants with urgent travel needs” according a special page on the State Department Web Site.

To check if you can qualify for an emergency appointment, you can refer to the table on the State Departments “get it fast” passport section, here.

Here are a few things you can do to help make sure you don’t have any unpleasant passport surpises.

  1. Check when your passport expires. Lots of travelers assume that if their passport expires right after the end of their trip, they will be okay. Sadly, many countries require that your passport is valid for at least 6 months past your entry date. While in practice they don’t always turn everyone away, they have that option. And with additional border controls in place at this time, it isn’t wise to take the risk.
  2. If you need an emergency passport or renewal, do not to delay and to begin the process immediately
  3. Find your closest passport office. To make this easier, here is a link to a site that shows the addresses of all the major agencies.
  4. Consider a private service that specializes in handling expedited passports. This may set you back anywhere from an extra $60 to $400, another reason to keep on top of your passport expiry date. Here are links to a few of these services:

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