Traveling by air in US for international as well as domestic travel will be a little different from 22nd January 2018. Some changes are being implemented and general travelers will need to comply with them. While traveling by air, passengers need to carry a kind of ID and this is applicable for international as well as domestic travel. New requirements have been implemented on the kind of ID which needs to be carried. The changes are being made for the REAL ID Act, which will be enforced by the Department of Homeland Security. Even when you are flying out from certain states in US, you might need a passport. Hence it is best to apply for one at the earliest to avoid any kinds of hassles. Apart from this, many other changes are being expected to take place in the US passport. Read on to know more:
1. Know about the recently changed passport photo rules
Rules for passport photos keep on changing from time to time. Whether you are applying for a new passport or looking for passport renewal in Los Angeles, make sure that you know the photo rules properly. From 2016 November, you are not allowed wearing eyeglasses in the photo until and unless it is for medical reasons. For medical reasons, one has to submit a note from the doctor along with the passport application. Poor quality of passport photos is also a reason for which many passport applications have been rejected and cancelled in the past few years. Follow the passport photo guidelines sincerely so that there are no chances of the application getting rejected on these grounds.
2. Places where you need a US passport
Standing here at the end of 2017, one has to carry the US passport for any international travel including that of Mexico and Canada. Again it has been seen that U.S territories of North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, The US Virgin Islands, and Guam etc are not foreign lands and hence passport is not required for traveling to these places.
Also while returning back to US after the international travel; you might need to show your passport is asked at the airport. Make sure that the passport is kept handy so that it can be produced on request. However, from 2018 some changes might come. Due to the REAL ID Act you might need to produce your passport even when you are flying domestically depending on the state from which you are flying.
Also, all children, irrespective of their age will need a passport when they are flying internationally.
3. Passport applications will take longer to process in 2017
It is a well known fact that major changes came into US passport in 2007. With 10 years validity, all these passports will expire in 2017. Hence the pressure of renewal will be high in 2017.
So if you are still thinking how to renew passport or how to get a passport in this situation, it is time that you act really fast. Due to the large numbers of passport applications for new passports and renewals, the processing time has become longer. Infact lots of changes are also coming in the passports. Do not wait till the last moment of expiry and get passport renewed soon to avoid hampers in travel plans.
4. Adding pages to passports can be done no more
Right from 2016, new pages cannot be added to American passports. When the present passport is full with no empty pages, you will have to apply for a new passport even if the current one is valid. Getting a new passport is definitely more expensive than adding extra pages.
5. More security to passports
US passports are being upgraded from time to time to make them more secured. A computer readable chip is installed in the passport, which has the biometric data of the traveler. The implementation of the new technology helps in lowering the risk of fraud and enhances security measurements manifold times. More advanced technology is in the pipeline which will be integrated in the passport. The outer blue cover of the passport has a protective coating, which provides protection against water damage etc.
For people who love traveling, it is always recommended to keep themselves updated regarding the passport changes so that they do not face any problems during the time of travel.
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