|Planning travel outside the United States?
First, plan to get your passport.
Saturday, March 27th is Passport Day at the U.S. State Department
Important Updated Information:
• Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), a passport is now (as of June 1, 2009) required for traveling to/from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean region (includes 17 nations). Additional information on this mandate can be found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html.
• An alternative to a standard passport book: the wallet-size passport card is convenient and less expensive than the passport book. However, the U.S. Passport Card cannot be used for international air travel. This new travel document can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry.
• According to the Department of State’s passport info online, current routine processing times are at least four to six weeks from the date of application at a Passport Application Acceptance Facility (e.g. US Post Office, Clerk of Court, or municipal office).
• Expedited processing, at approximately two-three weeks door-to-door, is available when the customer requests, and pays for, the $60 expedited processing fee, plus two-way overnight delivery to mail their passport application from an Acceptance Facility to the Lockbox address via overnight mail, and for the Miami Passport Agency to mail the passport to the customer via overnight mail.
• Should constituents run into a snag with a passport that is in processing and fear that their passport will not be completed in time for an upcoming trip, they should feel free to contact our office so that we may place a Congressional inquiry on their behalf.
• If a constituent finds that an urgent situation requires immediate passport issuance or renewal, they should contact our office directly so that we may set up an appointment for them to visit the Miami Passport Agency as soon as possible. Last minute passport issues could take up to three business days to process. A life or death emergency for immediate family members is the only circumstance which same day processing is guaranteed. We provide this appointment setting service free of charge.
• If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the date of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met.
• Constituents should not delay in getting a passport – you never know when the need may unexpectedly arise. Better to have it “just in case” than to run around at the last minute to try and obtain one.
• Link to the State Department’s website for passport information http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738_2.html
• For more help with passports, please click here.