Don’t Let a Passport Stop You From Living Your Best Life!
By Erin Rutherford, on October 3, 2022
After almost three years of living in a world affected by COVID, travel seems to have adjusted to our new normal! Most of us probably haven’t traveled outside the country since before the beginning of the pandemic, so understandable that we may have forgotten all about our passports.
If you are thinking of treating yourself to a nice vacation for the holidays, here are some questions to ask yourself while preparing for your trip:
- Do you know where your passport is?
- Is your passport still valid?
- Are your children’s passports still valid?
- Does your passport have less than 6 months validity left?
- Is your most recent passport expired but was issued when you were younger than 16?
- Have you changed your name since you last got your passport?
If your passport is still valid, you are good to go!
If your passport is less than 6 months from expiring, then you should get a passport renewal! Most countries require at least six months for entry. We have had many past clients who came to us because they tried to board their flight with less than 6 months' validity, and if we were not able to help them, there were many cases of ruined vacations because of this oversight.
If you don't have a passport or your most recent passport was issued when you were younger than 16, and now you are older than 16, you will need to start a new passport application process. Luckily, once you are issued an adult passport, it will be valid for 10 years instead of 5 years and you will be able to renew with just a new application and a photo as long as the passport is valid and in your possession.
Just because your passport is still valid and has 6 months of validity, does not mean that your children’s passports do, even if issued at the same time. Keep in mind that your child(ren)’s (under 16 years old) passports are only valid for 5 years. Children’s passports do not go through a renewal process. Every child passport is considered a new passport, with all of the same requirements.
LOST, STOLEN, OR DAMAGED
If you cannot find your passport or it has been damaged or stolen, you should act quickly to get a new passport issued. Try to find your passport before you even book your travel plans. If your travel date is approaching, we suggest searching for two days maximum because you don’t want to lose valuable time to start the application process and receive a new passport.
When you are applying for a new, child’s, lost, or damaged passport type, it is required to have your live signature witnessed. This takes place at an Acceptance Facility, usually your local post office or courthouse. One of the biggest factors that can cause issues with how quickly you can receive your new passport, whether through normal services or APVI, is when you are able to get your signature witnessed and have your documents sealed. If you are planning to travel for the holidays, you will need to do this as soon as possible. If using APVI for your passport services we will provide you with the information to get an appointment.
NAME CHANGE ON YOUR PASSPORT
If you have gotten married or divorced or been through any life event where you have changed your name, you might want to think about getting your passport updated with your new name. Having a passport completely updated with your correct name can be useful as an additional identification if your others are lost a passport can serve as a Real ID for domestic flights and it helps prevent any hassle or questioning about your identity in the airport. Your flight passenger information must match exactly to what is listed on your passport and in most cases, the flight passenger is unable to be swapped out even for just a name adjustment.
These are just some things to be aware of to make sure something as basic as a passport doesn’t ruin a vacation that took months of planning! If you are planning to travel for the Fall/Winter holidays and need a new or to renew your US Passport check out APVI expedited services! We offer exceptional customer service and expediting for all US Passport types for 1-week, 2-week, and 8-week services.