September is Passport Awareness month in the United States. Here are 3 things to know as a U.S. Passport Holder:
1. Apply or renew your passport between September - November
According to the U.S. Department of State, September through November have lower wait times for passport applications. Given that passport demand is on the rise (the U.S. expects 20 million applications in 2017, up from 18.6 million in 2016 and 14 million in 2015), it's important to take advantage of the slower season if your passport is up for renewal!
Routine processing times are 4-6 weeks, and 2-3 weeks expedited (additional $60 expedite fee)
2. Apply by mail or in person?
*MUST APPLY IN PERSON:
Adults (16+) applying for the first time (use Form DS-82)
If your passport was issued when you were under 16 years old
- If your passport was lost, stolen or damaged
- If your passport was issued over 15 years ago
- Children under age 16
CAN APPLY BY MAIL:
Adults (16+) renewing their passport can apply my mail (using Form DS-11)
3. Enroll in S.T.E.P.
The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a service offered by the Bureau of Consular Affairs that allows U.S. citizens and nationals to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Benefits of this free program:
- Receive important information and updates about your destination country
- Leave contact information for the U.S. Embassy in case of a natural disaster, civil unrest or family emergency