Travel Tips: Got a US Passport? Recent Updates All US Travelers Need to Know
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If you are a current US passport holder, you may already know that the US has been taking all sorts of initiatives in order to take care of the passport issues throughout the country. These initiatives have risen this year with special effect given the fact that this might be an epoch-making year in relation to the number of passport applications which will definitely be more than there has been ever before!
In addition to the growing applications predicted for passport renewal as well as the pressure that comes with increasing number of new passport applications, there has been an additional responsibility on part of the passport offices. This is especially so when it comes to helping people to become more informed about the REAL ID compliance of US passports which is definitely going to provide it with an absolutely new dimension.
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According to the newly framed regulations, all US passports need to be compliant with the REAL ID with effect from 22nd January 2018. To raise awareness among the US citizens, the State has decided to observe each September as the passport awareness month and make people informed regarding the new regulations as well as the changes in the old ones which would definitely prove to be more helpful.
One of the very important changes is that, for example, if you are residing in Florida and looking to renew passport in Orlando, and your passport renewal in Orlando is still pending but you need to travel within the United States, you have to either have your passport in hand with REAL ID or else you need a REAL ID-compliant driving license even in order to travel domestically.
Although the act has been granted all the way back in 2005, still some of the states are lagging back on the implementation and therefore extensions were granted. But for the other states, people either need a REAL ID-compliant driving license, a passport card or a passport book and that too REAL ID compliant even in order to travel domestically.
In the case of international travel, you would have to essentially possess a passport that is REAL ID compliant. But, given the current scenario, expect to wait in long lines outside passport offices all over the US. If you already have a trip abroad that is already on the books and your new passport is not yet ready, I would suggest enlisting the help of certified online agencies which be will help you to save valuable time and energy. For an extra fee, some of these agencies may also offer same day services. If your trip is just around the bend, forking over some extra cash for this service is highly recommended as its a small price to pay for your peace of mind.
For a more comprehensive overview of the recent US passport updates, check out this USA Today article.
Can’t wait to make the most out of your brand new passport? Head to Asia for great weather, friendly locals, and plenty of delicious food!