With all this jibber jabber about skipping the country these days, a wise man makes sure he can locate his passport. And when he does, he'd double-check it's up-to-date and ready to go at any moment's notice. Because as much of a pain it is to deal with passport issues under normal circumstances, it's about to become much worse.
As Outside Magazine outlines, there are several major wrinkles to this inevitability:
- The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect in 2007, requiring anyone traveling from the U.S. to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean to hold a valid U.S. passport, not just a driver's license. Said law added more than 10 million new passports. And while passports, like comic book movies, get renewed every 10 years, those 10 milliion-some passport holders will be rewewing in 2017, which many reports say will cause wait times for passport renewal to jump to 10 or more weeks.
- Many countries now require your passport to have more than six months until expiration. In other words: you don't wanna be caught in transit during this period.
- In 2018, residents from states that haven’t updated their driver's licenses to comply with the Real ID Act (Florida, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania) will be required to fly with a passport, even if its domestic.
- Some countries now require at least one blank page in your passport book. Seeing as many new books are 28 pages instead of 52, you may need more pages. Good news: you can request a 52 page book.
All this spells a very busy year for passport services across the country. Worth nothing: renewing a passport currently takes up to six weeks, but can be done even if your expiration is 12 months away. Do so here, and while you’re at it, apply for Global Entry.
Because if you wanna make sure your passport renewal goes smoothly, might as well make sure your travels follow suit.