Passport expiring this year? Renew now to avoid the rush

passport

Make sure your passport is up to date. The U.S. State Department is advising travelers to renew passports expiring in 2016 earlier rather than later. In 2006 and 2007, millions of people applied for passports because new rules required the document for travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

Traveling internationally this year? Make sure your passport is up to date.

The U.S. State Department is advising travelers to renew passports expiring in 2016 earlier rather than later.

In 2006 and 2007, millions of people applied for passports because new rules required the document for travel to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Now, those 10-year passports are up for renewal, and officials expect a surge in applications.

Travelers with state driver’s licenses that do not meet REAL IDrequirements have also contributed to an increase in applications even though airports will continue to accept those state IDs until 2018.

The State Department has been encouraging travelers to apply early since last summer.

We were overwhelmed then, and we are not going to be overwhelmed again, Michele Bond, the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, told The New York Times.

The fee is $135 for a new passport, and $110 for a renewal. A passport card useful for land crossings or domestic air travel is an extra $30 (and well worth it, according to this travel editor).

Increased demand for passport processing is expected to continue through 2018, according to the State Department.

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