BILLINGS, Mont., May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- For those planning a trip outside of the country, the best way to avoid not having a new passport in hand is to apply now.
About 47 million passports will be expiring in the next three years. The expected flood of new passport applications is partially due to renewals of 10 year passports that were issued in 2006 and 2007 when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative was initiated. The initiative was the first time American citizens were required to have a passport when travelling to Mexico, Bermuda, Canada and the Caribbean, and caused 18 million people to apply for passports. The State Department, in hope of avoiding the rush of passport applications they experienced in 2006 and 2007, is committed to getting the word out to people to apply early.
Another reason for the increased demand is coming from people in states that have not yet complied with the new Real ID Act which requires stricter standers for issuing driver's licenses that will be needed in the future for domestic flights. Many don't realize the new standard doesn't go into effect until January of 2018, so those living in non-compliant states such as New Mexico, Illinois, Washington, Missouri and Minnesota are rushing to apply for passports.
The State Department has also been flooded with calls from frightened passengers who have gotten stranded out of the country due to the enforcement some countries have that if a passport is about to expire within six months, they consider it non-valid. Hundreds of frantic passengers have been turned away from international airports because they were unaware of the issue.
State officials are expecting to issue more than 17 million new passports and renewals this year alone, which is an increase of more than 1.5 million over 2015. For anyone seeking a passport for the first time, they must show up in person at a designated post office, court house or other official location to apply and pay the $135 fee. Renewals will take up to six weeks and can be applied for by mail for a cost of $110
Coconut Club Vacations is a value members-only travel club providing members with member benefits which range from access to discounted travel to packages and tours as well as consumer benefits.
Press release distributed by PRLog
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SOURCE Coconut Club Vacations