Passport Regulations and Services – Are You Fully Prepared

Many things are changing when it comes to air travel. Some of the changes come from the government. We all know about the carry on luggage rules that have changed frequently over the past few months. The next big scheduled change will be a change in the passport requirements to re-enter the United States.

At the moment, if you are traveling to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Panama or the Caribbean, a passport is not necessary. But that will be changing soon. Due to The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, on January 8, 2007, all travelers coming from or returning from these destinations will need a passport to enter the United States.

This January 8, 2007 date is for travelers entering the United States by air or by sea. For travelers entering the United States across a land border, they will be required to start providing passports as identification on January 1, 2008. All of the new regulations are required for adults and children alike.

Currently, the regulation states that any traveler wishing to enter or re-enter the United States from these destinations needs to have a valid driver’s license and a birth certificate. Those documents will not be enough once January hits. They will still be accepted if you are returning from a U.S. territory such as Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Since they are U.S. territories, it is not considered leaving the United States when you visit there.

If you are planning to travel outside of the United States or its territories after the New Year and don’t have a passport, now is the time to be applying for one. The average time for processing a passport is six weeks. The busy time for passport applications tends to be between January and July. You are likely to get your passport more quickly if you give in your application between August and Numerous websites provide passport photos online, the most popular being , where you can crop, resize, and use your own. So now is the time to do make your application. If you need your passport more quickly, there is an expedited service for an extra fee.

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