Plan Ahead, apply or renew your passport early
The US Department of State is expecting an increase in passport applications through 2018 and encourages travelers to submit passport applications well ahead of their planned travel dates in order to avoid delays receiving their passports.
In 2007, the Department experienced an unprecedented surge in passport applications, issuing over 18 million passports as a result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Those passports are beginning to expire, and the Department has been experiencing an increased demand for passport renewals, that could delay the processing time to obtain a new passport. They issued over 14 million passports in 2015 and 2014, so we can expect to have the same amount for new applications plus the renewing passports.
Whether you are renewing a passport or applying for the first time, the passport application process can be completed without stress if done ahead of time.
Passport Card or Passport Book?
The US Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea-ports-of entry. Is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The Passport card is not valid for international travel by air.
You can apply for both passport book and card, and use them as necessary, when crossing the border by land use the card, and when flying international use the Passport book.
The increase the speed in border crossings, the passport card has radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, the chip doesn’t contain any information, and it points to stored records in secure government databases using state-of-the-art security features.
The US passport card is approved by the Department of Homeland Security to be used in Ready Lanes at several border ports of entry. Ready Lane is a dedicated primary vehicle lane for travelers entering the US at land ports of entry. Travelers who travel with this card, may receive the benefits of using a Ready lane to expedite the inspection process while crossing the border. This would be of great benefit when traveling to Mexico by car, and all family members have the passport card.