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At some point obtaining or renewing a passport is on the to-do list, however keeping track of updates and regulations may not be. Here’s a quick check up for your travel documents.
The passport book has gotten a face-lift. With an embedded data chip, polycarbonate coating and laser engraved information the updated book is full of smart developments.
It’s picture perfect. With the new book you might have a new look, if you wear glasses. Since November, glasses are no longer acceptable in passport photos.
Additional passport pages. Before, as the sheets started filling up, you could pay for an additional insert, but now you will have to choose between a 28 page book and a 52 page book. Be aware of the rules and regulations of your destination as well, some countries require at least two to four empty pages in your passport for entry.
Keep tabs on your passport’s expiration date. Besides the fact that some countries require your documents to be good for at least three months prior, renewing is less expensive than applying for a new one.
Fall is generally the best time to renew or get a passport with turnaround times taking about four weeks, versus an estimated 16 weeks in summer. According to data from the U.S. Department of State, March is the worst month and November is the best month.
Become familiar with the Mobile Passport Control app. It gets you access to express immigration lanes at participating airports. Stateside the service is in use at San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle and Miami airports.
See the www.travel.state.gov site for up-to-date specifications.