Changing US Passport Rules

Know About Changing US Passport Rules Before Traveling

| April 14, 2019 | Travel Tips

Traveling by air in the Changing US Passport Rules 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. It is good to be aware of these new requirements to avoid any form of frustration.  

While traveling by air, passengers need to carry a kind of I.D, and this is applicable for international as well as domestic travel. New requirements have been implemented in the type of I.D that you need to carry.   

The Changes Are Real  

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 individual states in the U.S., you might need a passport. Be keen on all these requirements to avoid last-minute rushes.  

Therefore, it is best to apply for one at the earliest time possible to avoid any kinds of hassles. Apart from this, we expect many other changes to take place in the U.S. passport.  

Read on to know more about the changing U.S. passport rules.  

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 Angeles. You need to make sure that you know the photo rules properly. 

From 2016 November, you are not allowed to wear eyeglasses in the photo until and unless it is for medical reasons. For medical purposes, 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 canceled in the past few years. Therefore, you have to make sure that you have clear photos when processing your passport.  

Follow the passport photo guidelines sincerely so that there are no chances of the application getting rejected on these grounds. The most important things are to do things in the right manner and you will emerge as a winner.  

2. Places Where You Need A U.S. Passport 

us passport

Standing here at the end of 2017, one has to carry a U.S. passport for any international travel. Some of the travel includes that of Mexico and Canada. Again it has been seen that U.S. territories of North Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam, etc. are no foreign lands. Given this fact, you do not need a passport to travel to these places. 

Also, while returning to the U.S. after international travel, you might need to show your passport because the official at the airport will request it. Make sure that you keep the passport well so that you can produce it upon request.   

2018 Changes  

However, from 2018, some changes might come. Due to the REAL ID Act, you might need to provide your passport even when you are flying domestically. These rules are regardless of the state from which you are flying. 

Also, all children, irrespective of their age, will need a passport when they are flying internationally. It is good to have all this information at the back of your mind so that it does not come as a surprise.  

3. Passport applications will take longer to process in 2017 

It is a well-known fact that significant changes came into the U.S. passport in 2007. With 10 years of validity, all these passports will expire in 2017. Hence the pressure of renewal will be high in 2017. 

So if you are still thinking of renewing your passport in this situation, it is time that you act fast. Due to the large number of passport applications for new passports and renewals, the processing time has become longer.  

Lots of changes are also coming in the passports. Do not wait till the last moment of expiry and get a passport renewed soon to avoid hampers in travel plans 

There are so many ways by which you can renew your passport. For instance, you can apply for a new passport online through the department of the state. Get to understand the options that your state provides and abide by them.  

If not that, you can also try out the process in person. For instance, you can visit a local agency. You need to know that the U.S. has made some changes when it comes to passport renewal. Therefore, you have to make sure that you follow all the instructions to stay on the safer side of things.  

Be Keen to the Details  

Before proceeding to make any attempts to renew your passport, you need to be careful. There are so many requirements that you need to meet. All this information is available from the immigration officials.  

Try and check whether you meet all those requirements. If any items are required, you need to have all of them. There are no two ways about it because you have to comply with all the requirements.  

The new passport rules have forbidden wearing glasses in passport photos. Ignoring these rules and going own to wear glasses might cause you some problems. In fact, in some cases, you might end up having an unsuccessful application attempt.  

If not that, then you might risk delaying the whole process. To avoid any such incidents, you need to follow the provisions as they are. No one wants unnecessary delays because of the things that you can avoid.  

If you are not updated on the new rules, you can seek clarification from people in the immigration state department. This will help you to move faster with the process. If you need to travel, you should commence this process on time. 

There are so many things that have chipped into the new passport application procedures. Some of the new requirements might see you take more time with the application procedure. You can minimize this duration when you know the requirements and comply with all of them.  

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 of no empty pages, you will have to apply for a new passport. This could be one of the requirements that will catch many people with a lot of surprises.  

This is regardless of whether your current one is valid. Getting a new passport is more expensive than adding extra pages. Therefore, you have to be prepared psychologically especially if you are used to the idea of adding pages.  

Change Your Culture  

If you are used to this culture, then you need to change. If you go ahead and add more pages, then you will be inconvenienced in the long run. Even though acquiring a new passport might be expensive, you need to bear with the process.  

If you add more pages to your existing passport, then that might also be considered a breach of federal rules and regulations. It is always good to make sure that you are complying will all the legal requirements in everything that you do.  

5. More Security To Passports 

Security To Passports

U.S. 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. It is one of the best additions to US passports.  

The implementation of the new technology helps in lowering the risk of fraud and enhances security measurements manifold times. Security is a crucial inclusion in modern passports.  

 More advanced technology is in the pipeline, which will be integrated into the passport. The outer blue cover of the passport has a protective coating, which protects against water damage etc. 

For people who love traveling, it is always recommended to keep themselves updated regarding passport changes. It will make sure that you do not face any problems during the time of travel. All people want to make sure that they have a seamless traveling experience 

Seek Clarification from the Immigration Department  

You can contact the U.S. state immigration department for further clarification on the same. If you traveled abroad and took time without coming back home, you need to look for information regarding the same. 

If you own a passport without any or all of these new features, then you might even risk being called a fraud. To stay on the safe and legal side of things, you need to make sure you update your passport. 

The good thing is that these new changes are aimed at making the U.S. together with its citizens more secure. They are not mending to strain most travelers and other passport holders. 

6. Double-check your kid’s passports 

If you cannot clearly remember when you need to renew your passport, you need to make sure that you check your kid’s passports as well. Make sure you double-check the passports of your kid’s passport and confirm their status.  

You need to know that in the United States of America, the validity of children’s passport is up to five years. These passports are subject to so much in terms of paperwork and hence you need to be prepared for the task.  


There are so many people who are going to be affected by the U.S. passport. You have to make sure you stay updated to avoid any inconveniences resulting from the same. Read more about these new guidelines so that you are not caught unawares with these changes. 

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